News reports continue to roll in on the latest fungal meningitis outbreak. As we explained earlier this week, over hundred people have already developed meningitis, allegedly as a result of a spinal steroid injection that they received over the last few months. Nearly 17,000 vials of the steroid may have been at risk of contamination. 13,000 of those vials were likely given to patients. Some Illinois residents were at risk, because, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, at least three APAC Centers for Pain Management gave the injections to patients. Those include the APAC Center at Chicago’s Thorek Hospital Professional Building, the APAC Lincoln Park, and the APAC facility in Westchester’s Prairie Medical Building.
The IDPH reports that those patients have been contacted and tested to determine if they have been affected. Many are still awaiting test results.
It goes without saying that intense investigations must be conducted to determine how this sort of contamination could happen-hundreds have already been infected and at least nine have died. Thus far the investigators believe that the problem stems from a pharmaceutical compounding plant in New England. The plant takes drugs made elsewhere and converts them into proper doses. Apparently something went wrong at that facility which allowed the fungus to mix with the products which were sent to at least twenty three states, including Illinois.
Sadly, this does not seem to be the first time that something has gone wrong at this facility. In fact, according to a recent story in the Tennesseean, the same company was named as a defendant in a meningitis lawsuit eight years ago. In that case a window argued that her husband developed meningitis-as in this outbreak-as a result of a tainted spinal steroid injection. That case eventually settled confidentially out of court in 2005.
Before that, in 2002, the same compounding company had another complaint lodged against it. That complaint led the state to investigate, resulting in a 2006 consent decree. The consent decree required the company to face full inspections, and it was led both by state inspectors and representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Don’t Delay: Get Medical and Legal Help
The attorneys at our firm are working with patients throughout Illinois who have been infected by this outbreak. We urge local residents who suspect they might be involved to act prudently to protect their health. Even one or two signs or symptoms should be cause to seek medical advice. Experts explain that some of the common symptoms include headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. In addition, slurred speech or other stroke-like symptoms might be implicated by this fungal meningitis outbreak.
On top of acting quickly to get necessary treatment, those patients affected should call our office to see how we can help with the legal end of things. These situations involving large-scale drug contaminations are complex legal matters. Our team is capable of working on these matters to ensure you receive the full redress necessary and the involved company is forced to make changes to keep patients safe in the future.
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