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Tainted Steroid Injections Pose New Risks: A Report from Your Los Angeles Personal Injury AttorneyJuly 1, 2013
A Tennessee pharmacy has been accused of dispensing pharmaceuticals containing mold while those dealing with fungal meningitis resulting from the October 2012 nationwide outbreak now face a new dilemma – meningitis that is either resistant to the drugs and/or that has been reported to re-occur.
Both bacterial and fungal contaminants have been detected in unopened vials of drugs made by Main Street Family Pharmacy, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So far, methylprednisolone acetate from the pharmacy has sickened 24 people in Illinois, North Carolina, Florida and Arkansas. The medicine, which is often used as a treatment for chronic pain in the spine and joints, was shipped to 13 states including California. Los Angeles personal injury attorneys advise that these tainted injections may have dire consequences. California residents who may have received shots from medicine made from this pharmacy should contact a legal representative immediately.
Inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cited the Tennessee compounding pharmacy for multiple violations of federal regulations after they found, among other things, spiders in the clean room of the pharmacy. The pharmacy also failed to take proper corrective action when tests showed a vial of methylprednisolone acetate was overly potent, inspectors noted.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that tests showed drugs compounded by the pharmacy contained bacteria and fungus. The majority of cases have been injection-site infections, which are less serious than meningitis. According to the CDC, 26 people in four states have been sickened by drugs produced by the pharmacy, and all of its sterile drug products have been recalled.
However, there is now a new worry – relapse.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say an 80-year-old man who developed fungal meningitis at the start of the nationwide outbreak and, who was treated with antifungal drugs, suffered another fungal infection within weeks of stopping therapy. While this is the only confirmed case of relapse in connection with this outbreak, CDC is investigating two or three additional cases in which patients who stopped treatment wound up sick again.
Meningitis is a brain infection. Generally, there are two types of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious. The symptoms for the two are often the same. Viral meningitis is not fatal. In most instances, full recovery is possible with rest, drinking fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers. Contrarily, bacterial meningitis can be deadly if not treated properly. Each year, nearly 3000 Americans are diagnosed with the most common type of bacterial meningitis – about 10 to 15 percent of those cases are fatal. Fungal meningitis is a type of meningitis that stems from mold – like the kind found in the pharmaceuticals distributed by Main Street Family Pharmacy.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or fatality following a pharmaceutical mishap, contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your options.