Safety

News brief: Meningitis outbreak linked to steroid injection

OSHA Healthcare Connection, October 16, 2012

A spinal steroid injection has been linked to an outbreak of a rare form of meningitis, which has claimed the lives of several people and has made countless others ill in several states. Health officials traced the contaminated drug back to the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., and believe that the drug was shipped to 23 states. The earliest cases appeared in Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Maryland.

The steroid is used in a lumbar epidural steroid injection as part of a treatment for back pain. Physicians are urging any patients who have had the treatment within the past few months to seek medical care if they develop symptoms such as severe headaches, fever, nausea, difficulty with balance, or slurred speech. The New England Compounding Center has recalled three lots of the drug; the lot numbers of the suspected contaminated drugs are 05212012@68, 06292012@26, and 08102012@51.

Source: The New York Times

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