MA - Tainted drug caused 793 cases of fungal meningitis, 76 deaths, 2012

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Reader, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/06/h...-exposed-to-tainted-back-pain-drug.html?_r=1&

    As the case count continued to rise in a multistate outbreak of meningitis linked to a tainted drug, federal health officials emphasized on Friday that it was absolutely essential to find everyone who may have been exposed to the drug, which was used in spinal injections for back pain.

    “All patients who may have received these medications need to be tracked down immediately,” Dr. Benjamin Park, a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. “It is possible that if patients with infection are identified soon and put on appropriate antifungal therapy, lives may be saved.” ..............

    Doctors urged anyone who had a spinal injection for pain in the last few months to contact a doctor if they became ill, particularly with symptoms that include a new or worsening headache, fever, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, nausea, slurred speech or loss of balance. The medical name for the injections is a lumbar epidural steroid injection...........

    By Friday, there were 47 cases in seven states, including five deaths — an increase of 12 cases since Thursday. Health officials say they expect more cases to occur because the illness has an incubation period that can be a month or possibly longer........

    The disease centers posted on its Web site a list of all the clinics that received the drugs. (link provided)

    More at link.....
     
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  3. Dewey2Me1MoThyme

    Dewey2Me1MoThyme Have clue will sleuth!

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    My wife had one of these injections back in April at one of the pain clinics named on the news. she seems to think that because she has not had any major side effects and since such a large period of time has passed that she is safe. I did encourage her to call them on Monday for our peace of mind.
     
  4. MayraMM

    MayraMM New Member

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    That's really scary.
     
  5. ohiogirl

    ohiogirl New Member

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    Where did this drug come from?
     
  6. Herding Cats

    Herding Cats New Member

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    My mother had "a shot of some steroid" (according to her) in her hip for chronic pain. I called her tonight, and suggested to call her Dr. and make sure she didn't get the tainted meds. She said she'd call if she got around to it. Sigh.

    She's in New Jersey...so I can't do it for her. OTOH, I may call her GP (her GP and I have had great talks before) tomorrow and see if she knows (the pain Dr. that Mom went to works out of her offices...). If so, I'll make sure that Mom gets seen right away.

    Oh, this is a horrible, horrible event. I can't figure out how things got contaminated. Does anyone know?

    Best-
    Herding Cats
     
  7. Dewey2Me1MoThyme

    Dewey2Me1MoThyme Have clue will sleuth!

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    IIRC it was distributed from a lab in Mass or ME, and has affected people in as many as 23 states thus far. Just last night on the local news they showed a short clip of the pain clinic where my DW had her injection and said at least one person having treatment done there has been affected by the tainted drug. That's too close to home for me.
     
  8. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    New England Compounding Pharmacy......fhc posted a link here about all their products being recalled:

    ***New England Compounding Center Product Recall Information***Many Prescriptions - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
     
  9. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy

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    October 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

    20 cases of meningitis reported in Mich.

    2 deaths in state linked to illnesses from tainted steroid


    By Jim Lynch
    The Detroit News

    The number of reported cases of fungal meningitis linked to a contaminated steroid climbed to 91 Sunday, including 20 cases and two deaths in Michigan, according to health officials.

    Nine states now have reported cases of fungal meningitis, an inflammation of the protective membrane around the brain and the spinal cord.

    Combined, the number of confirmed cases nationally is now 91, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Those include nine deaths.

    In Michigan, state health officials reported the total number of cases had reached 20, up from the eight cases that had been reported only 24 hours earlier. Among the total cases are two deaths...

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121008/LIFESTYLE03/210080341#ixzz28ib421La
     
  10. Strawberry Fields

    Strawberry Fields New Member

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    My mom had two injections of this exact type (epidural steroid for back pain). One shot was at end of August, and the other was mid-September. Thankfully, the ambulatory surgery center where she had them does not purchase from that pharmacy. However, the clinic that did administer a huge number of them is only about 5 miles from where we live. Fortunately, she already had an appointment scheduled Friday to see her regular internal medicine doctor, so we were able to get many of our questions answered more definitively. Just cannot imagine how these people who did get the tainted drug, and their families are coping. Seems like basically some have been told see a doctor if you develop symptoms. I'd be like camped out in my car in the nearest emergency room, myself.
     
  11. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy

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    Funeral home identifies Michigan meningitis death

    67-year-old Howell woman died from fungal meningitis outbreak


    Published On: Oct 08 2012 03:27:37 PM EDT Updated On: Oct 08 2012 03:41:09 PM EDT

    HOWELL, Mich. -
    A funeral home in Livingston County says a 67-year-old woman died from a stroke caused by the fungal meningitis outbreak...

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifes...th/-/2300442/16899890/-/11kk77uz/-/index.html


    October 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Howell woman, 67, died from fungal meningitis, funeral home says

    By Charles E. Ramirez
    The Detroit News

    Detroit — A 67-year-old Howell woman died from a stroke caused by fungal meningitis, according to a Livingston County funeral home.

    Federal officials have linked a rash of fungal meningitis cases to tainted steroid injections for back pain.

    Lilian Cary, who died Sept. 30, received a steroid injection at a clinic in Brighton, said Dennis Gaines, director of MacDonald's Funeral Home in Howell...

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121008/METRO/210080410#ixzz28k3x1a9G
     
  12. Dewey2Me1MoThyme

    Dewey2Me1MoThyme Have clue will sleuth!

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    My wife called the pain clinic today and was told she had nothing to worry about, the batch from which her injection came from was perfectly safe and not part of the tainted lot. :D
     
  13. hambirg

    hambirg New Member

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    Wow, this is scary. I don't get lumbar epidural shots, but I do get regular steroid shots in my neck for my occipital neuralgia. Frightening to think it's even possible for this to happen.
     
  14. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy

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    Mich. man at risk for meningitis after losing wife

    By ED WHITE, AP
    9 hours ago

    DETROIT — Days after taking his wife off life support, George Cary got a phone call that confirmed his suspicions: Her meningitis-related death was linked to tainted steroid injections at a Michigan clinic that had regularly treated her back pain.

    The doctor on the call had more tough news. Cary's own back injections in September may have come from a contaminated batch too.

    Cary went to an emergency room last weekend for a spinal tap. The test results aren't in yet, so he is left to wait and say goodbye to his wife, 67-year-old Lilian Cary, at a memorial service Tuesday.

    "They advised me to watch for symptoms," Cary, 65, told The Associated Press from a funeral home in Howell, 60 miles northwest of Detroit. "At this point, there's nothing abnormal, but they said the same thing when Lilian had hers. ... Not only have I lost my wife, but I'm watching the clock to see if anything develops."

    http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20121009/US.Meningitis.Outbreak.Michigan/
     
  15. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Great news, Dewey!

    Oh, that poor man...hope he will be alright!
     
  16. athy

    athy Active Member

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    i was getting those shots for a while. luckily not in any of the clinics named and luckily last one was in feb of this year.
     
  17. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    I wouldn't wish meningitis on my worst enemy-- I suffered a bout with the viral variety in my mid-twenties. Took me over a year to fully recover. Soooo painful, and in the case of this fungal variety, deadly. :(

    (I won't undergo any procedure that compromises my cerebral spinal fluid... I've felt the pain of that system under attack, and I'll do anything to prevent it from happening again.)

    Bless all those folks who are suffering, as well as their loved ones who are standing by feeling helpless.
     
  18. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Calls for oversight grow as U.S. meningitis death toll mounts

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/na...-meningitisbre8970tq-20121008,0,2693557.story

    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - The toll from the outbreak of fungal meningitis tied to contaminated steroid shots that has killed 12 people in the United States was expected to grow on Wednesday, raising pressure for stricter oversight of a largely unregulated corner of the pharmaceutical world.

    On Tuesday, four more deaths were reported and Florida became the latest state to report at least one death linked to the illness in a widening health scare.

    Leading U.S. House and Senate lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday asked federal health officials for briefings on the outbreak as a first step toward possible legislative action to strengthen federal drug safety regulations...........

    More at link.....
     
  19. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy

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    4 more cases of meningitis reported at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital; Total now 22

    3 people in Michigan have died, 12 nationwide


    Published On: Oct 10 2012 12:33:54 PM EDT Updated On: Oct 10 2012 12:34:23 PM EDT

    DETROIT -
    Four more cases of meningitis have been reported at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor.

    Local 4 has learned that there are now 22 patients being treated for the disease at the hospital, up from 18 on Wednesday.

    The outbreak is linked to contaminated steroid injections, and as many as 13,000 people may have received the medicine between May 21 and September 24, the CDC said.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 120 people nationwide have been sickened and there have been 12 fatalities.

    Tennessee is the hardest-hit state, with 39 infections and six deaths, according to the CDC...

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifes...w-22/-/2300442/16929070/-/u8n02u/-/index.html
     
  20. CarolinaMoon

    CarolinaMoon New Member

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    My sister had her epidural infusion in February. She called the clinic (which is listed) and nobody answered the phone. She left a message. I do hope they get back to her soon. Even though it was in February, there's that lingering fear.
     
  21. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Mass. gov: Drug firm may have misled regulators

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...ass&action=4&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_USNWU00L4_UNEWS

    BOSTON (AP) — The specialty pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak may have misled regulators and done work beyond the scope of its state license, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, a second pharmacy connected to the New England Compounding Center in Framingham has shut down for state and federal inspection.

    The New England Compounding Center made a steroid that was used in injections for back pain that were later found contaminated. More than 130 people in 11 states have been sickened. Twelve have died.

    On Wednesday, Patrick told reporters that state and federal agencies "may have been misled by some of the information we were given" by the New England Compounding Center.

    The company was licensed to fill specific prescriptions for specific patients but exceeded that, he said.

    "What they were doing instead is making big batches and selling them out of state as a manufacturer would, and that is certainly outside of their state license," he said.


    More at link.....
     

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