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Fungal Meningitis Outbreak - Contaminated Steroid Injection Not Just Used For Backs

October 17, 2012 | Category: Meningitis Outbreak | Share

"Patients have the right to know where their medication comes from,"  says Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.  He points out that the current fungal meningitis outbreak is a "call to action" for patients to ask questions and take proactive roles in their medical care. 

Two people, one in Michigan and one in New Hampshire, who received the contaminated steroid injection compounded by the New England Compounding Center in joints, other than the back, have been reported by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC)  as "possibly coming down with a fungal infection".   Often people suffering chronic pain get injections of methylprednisolone acetate in knees, shoulders, hips, ankles and thumbs.  

Steroid Shots Not Just for BacksAlthough experts say that joint infections tied to the contaminated steroids are unlikely to be fatal, they can be difficult to treat.  According to Dr. Sanjeev Suratwala, a Glen Cove Hospital, Glen Cove, NY, spinal reconstructive surgeon, as quoted by Health Day October 16 in U.S. News and World Report,  "Typically, these patients need several months of antibiotics and are prone to relapses, and may even require surgical treatment."  Dr. Suratwala said, "Fungal infections can be masked, so it may take a longer time to present itself."  Since joint injections are more common than epidural injections to the spine, Dr. Suratwala believes that many more patients could be at risk.

The CDC has released interim guidelines for doctors on how to treat fungal joint infections and recommends patients' seeking medical care if they received methylprednisolone acetate injections and have any of the following signs of infection:  swelling, redness or warmth at the injection site, increasing pain.

The CDC reported October 15, 2012 that 15 people have died and 212 people have become infected during the meningitis outbreak.  These patients were thought to have been injected with the contaminated steroid manufactured at the New England Compounding Center, Framingham, Massachusetts.  CDC officials report that of the nearly 14,000 people nationwide receiving potentially contaminated medication about 11,000 patients have so far been contacted by health officials in the 23 states that received shipments from the New England Compounding Center.  Of these states receiving shipments, 15 of them report cases of meningitis.  These states are Tennessee, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas, Idaho, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Florida.

If  you, a loved one, or someone you know has been treated with  methylprednisolone acetate from the New England Compounding Center  in the last three months and are experiencing symptoms of meningitis,  seek medical attention immediately.  Then please contact us at the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. specializing in personal injury and wrongful death. 


Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,500 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at  239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit  for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.

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