Fungal Meningitis Outbreak - The Human Side

October 12, 2012 | Category: Meningitis Outbreak | Share

There are at least 13,000 people who could be at risk of infection in the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections of  methylprednisolone acetate between May 21, 2012 and September 25, 2012.  

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported yesterday that there were 137 confirmed cases and 12 deaths.  Today the CDC reports 185 confirmed cases and 14 deaths.   The statistics are increasing daily. 

"Behind the statistics is the human story," says Product Liability Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.

Last night CNN's Anderson Cooper 360° covered the story of the Cary family from Michigan where Mrs. Cary died after contracting rare, non-contagious fungal meningitis from the contaminated steroid injection.  Now her husband, who also received an injection at the same site, is waiting for his diagnosis.  

The New York Times reported October 6 that Eddie Lovelace, a Kentucky judge died in Nashville, TN  at the age of 84 after serving as a judge into his late 70s. Judge Lovelace had sought steroid treatment to alleviate the back pain as a result of an automobile accident. 

Once there are symptoms of high fever, nausea or vomiting, stiff neck, severe headache, sensitivity to light, sleepiness or confusion and slurred speech, tests need to be done to diagnose the problem.

Fungal Meningitis can be diagnosed using:

  • CT (CAT) Scans: X-ray computer takes pictures of skull and brain.
  • Lumbar puncture (Spinal Tap): A needle removed fluid from around the spinal cord.  A lab checks for infection.
  • MRI: Powerful magnets and a computer takes pictures of the brain and blood vessels and structures of the head.

Treatment can be long and difficult particularly for those with weakened autoimmune systems.  According to Drugs.com, Fungal Meningitis is often treated by using an antifungal medicine to kill the fungus, a steroid to decrease inflammation, anti-nausea medicine, and a fever reducer.

"If you, or someone you know, had an injection of methylprednisolone acetate between May 21 and September 25, 2012 at any of the treatment facilities and have even preliminary signs of the symptoms mentioned here, don't hesitate.  Go immediately for medical attention," says Attorney Spivey. 

Facilities in Florida which received potentially fungal meningitis contaminated steroids are:

Florida Pain Clinic, Ocala, FL
Marion Pain Management Center, Ocala, FL
Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, Orlando, FL
Pain Consultants of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
Surgery Center of Ocala, Ocala, FL
Surgical Park Center, Miami, FL

At Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P. A. we have a proven track record of handling product liability issues.  Call us today for a free consultation.

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. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,  toll free at 1.888.477.4839 or  email  Randall@SpiveyLaw.com.  Visit www.SpiveyLaw.com for more information. 

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