Fungal Meningitis Injuries Continue Months After Outbreak
More than four months after the fungal meningitis outbreak, patients continue to suffer side effects and seek treatment from the contaminated steroid injections.
The epidural steroid injections were used to treat back pain. Approximately 17,000 vials of the injections were found to be contaminated with black mold. The meningitis outbreak has resulted in over 39 patient deaths and 600 injuries.
Aftereffects of the outbreak continue to be reported. Laura Blodgett, a spokeswoman for Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Washtenaw County’s Superior Townships, reports “seeing about two patients in, two patients out a day. It’s been holding steady.” 23 patients remain in the hospital for treatment, and many continue to seek follow-up care.
Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Causes Patient Deaths, Serious Side Effects
Common adverse reactions to the contaminated steroid injections include fungal meningitis, stroke, osteomyelitis of a peripheral joint, and abscess at the site of the spinal infection. The epidural abscesses are dangerous because of their ability to spread meningitis through a patient’s body if left untreated, and continue to be reported.
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, 13 meningitis related deaths in Michigan were linked to an epidural abscess.
The department reported 232 cases overall affected by the contaminated steroid injections, including:
- 64 cases of full blown fungal meningitis
- 38 cases of meningitis with abscesses
- 146 epidural abscesses
- 21 joint infections, including one with an abscess
- 1 stroke (meningitis-related)
The New England Compounding Center (NECC), the pharmacy responsible for the disastrous outbreak, has shut down and filed for bankruptcy after recalling the injections in September 2012. The company is currently under criminal investigation and facing increasing numbers of fungal meningitis lawsuits brought by patients who suffered from the tainted injections. Approximately 14,000 patients received the contaminated epidural steroids.
Increasing Fungal Meningitis Lawsuits Filed
Patients affected by the fungal meningitis outbreak are filing lawsuits against NECC seeking compensation and justice for their injuries. The lawsuits allege that the NECC’s negligence led to the devastating recall and led patients to sustain serious injuries from contaminated steroid injections. Patients seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. More than 50 lawsuits have been filed against the pharmacy.
The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are offering free case reviews to victims affected by the NECC steroid injection recall. To learn more, call 1-877-779-1414.