A low country pain clinic was one of the healthcare facilities that received a batch of tainted steroids linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak.
Intervene MD, with locations in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston, posted the following on its blog:
“Unfortunately, our practice was one of those provided medications from the manufacturer [New England Compounding Center]. We were notified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Friday, September 21st that we had received suspect medicines from lots produced between July 31 and September 16. We immediately removed all vials of the medication from use and returned them to the manufacturer.
“Because we are concerned, we have made every effort to determine each and every patient who may have received epidural treatment with this medication. We have personally spoken with almost all of the 189 people affected. We continue to call and work to get in touch with each person who received this medication by epidural injection. There are a few patients we’ve not been able to reach by telephone, despite multiple attempts, and we are sending follow-up letters that detail signs and symptoms to watch for until the possibility of illness passes. Each person has been asked to seek immediate emergency treatment if they have any symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this illness takes from one week to one month following exposure to develop.
“It is a relief that none of our patients are showing any signs or symptoms of meningitis. Two — at our urging — have gone to the emergency room for further examination. Tests determined that they do not have meningitis.
“We have been and continue to be available to speak with our patients. We invite them to phone us with any questions, issues or anxiety. We are providing medical counseling and following all CDC recommendations.
“We urge anyone who has recently had epidural treatment for back pain to contact their doctor. If you are our patient and have questions, we want you to call us. Epidural steroid injections for the management of pain have been used for many years and have relieved pain in thousands. This treatment has allowed many individuals to experience an improved quality of life and be more productive.”
If you or a loved one has been directly affected by the meningitis crisis, the South Carolina drug injury lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm in Columbia are available to answer legal questions about your rights and options.
Meanwhile, the first of an anticipated wave of lawsuits over the fatal outbreak was filed October 11 in Minnesota.
According to Reuters news:
“The lawsuit [Barbe Puro v. New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, No. 12-2605] was filed in a Minnesota federal court on Thursday by a woman who said she was given a steroid injection for back pain and has experienced symptoms consistent with meningitis. She is awaiting the results of tests.”
The number of people nationwide who have contracted meningitis from an injection of tainted steroids had exceeded 215 as of October 15. More than a dozen have died.
View an infection map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
Patients who received a steroid injection at Intervene MD between July and September 2012 are urged to contact a healthcare provider immediately.
View a CDC map of all affected healthcare facilities here.