Concern regarding the current multi-state meningitis outbreak, linked to steroid injections from New England Compounding Center (NECC), continues to grow at an alarming rate. Subsequently, as federal regulatory officials predicted, more individuals with symptoms of fungal meningitis have come forth. Of significant concern, however, are reports of fungal meningitis stemming from subsequent NECC products.
Initial reports linked the current outbreak to vials of methylprednisolone acetate, an epidural steroid injection indicated to relieve back pain. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently been made aware of a patient contracting fungal meningitis following the injection of triamcinolone acetonide, a similar injectable steroid. In addition, two transplant patients with Aspergillus fumigatus infection who were administered NECC cardioplegic solution during surgery have been reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in association with the FDA, have begun investigating a multi-state meningitis outbreak of fungal infections among patients who have received a steroid injection of a potentially contaminated product into the spinal area. The product in question is an epidural steroid injection by the name of methylprednisolone acetate produced by New England Compounding Center. Officials have been made aware of approximately 214 cases of fungal meningitis in 15 states. However, it has been estimated that nearly 14,000 individuals received injections of methylprednisolone acetate nationwide.
Due to the severity of this current meningitis outbreak, NECC recalled the following lots of methylprednisolone acetate:
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013
According to the notice, “This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to the potential risk of contamination, and in cooperation with an investigation being conducted by the FDA, the CDC and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy.”
On October 3, NECC announced a comprehensive recall of all products currently in circulation that were developed at and distributed from its facility in Framingham, Massachusetts. Products included in the subsequent recall include: acetaminophen suppositories, nipple ointments, morphine, vancomycin, and vitamin K.
According to a recent FDA Statement, a patient with possible meningitis potentially associated with epidural injection of an additional NECC product, triamcinolone acetonide, has been identified through active surveillance and reported to FDA. Triamcinolone acetonide is a type of steroid injectable product made by NECC. The cases of meningitis identified to date have been associated with methylprednisolone acetate, another similar steroid injectable product.
In addition, two transplant patients with Aspergillus fumigatus infection who were administered NECC cardioplegic solution during surgery have been reported. Investigation of these patients is ongoing; and there may be other explanations for their Aspergillus infection. Cardioplegic solution is used to induce cardiac muscle paralysis during open heart surgery to prevent injury to the heart.
Due to the long incubation period of this particular strain of meningitis, patients may go as long as a month before symptoms appear. Therefor, regulatory officials caution those that have received NECC epidural steroid injections and acknowledge the importance of seeing a doctor. As a result, more patients are expected to come forth with fungal meningitis symptoms. If you have become ill after receiving an epidural steroid injection, or any other product produced by NECC, you may be entitled to substantial compensation by filing your own fungal meningitis lawsuit.
Do I Have a Fungal Meningitis Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in fungal meningitis lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with fungal meningitis following the injection of an NECC epidural steroid, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.