The fungal meningitis outbreak that has ravaged over 400 patients in 23 states has affected another resident in Illinois. According to the latest reports on the incident from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a second Illinois resident has come down with meningitis as a result of contaminated spinal steroid injections produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Thus far 29 people have died as a result of the outbreak, many of them due to strokes that were spurred by the meningitis. The seriousness of the problem, and the potentially life-threatening nature of the incident makes it absolutely incumbent for all those who may be affected to act prudently to protect their health and well-being.
Medical officials explain fungal meningitis is quite rare, and it often has a long incubation period. That means that the signs of symptoms of meningitis might not show up for some time after the contaminated steroid is injected into the body. In other words, affected community members are not entirely out of the woods yet–it is important to keep a close eye on possible signs of meningitis if you were one of the estimated 350 patients who received the injection in our area.
The Illinois Department of Health and Human Services previously explained that the injection given for back pain were used at three local APAC Centers for Pain Management. One is located in the Thorek Hospital professional buiding in Chicago; the second is the APAC Lincoln Park; and the third is in Westchester, Illinois. Those patients should have already received certain testing to determine if they developed the meningitis. However, because of the latency period, the earlier test might not automatically pick up the inflammation.
For that reason, local residents who may have been infected are encouraged to remain vigilant to ensure they receive immediate medical help if they develop the problem. Those signs and symptoms include fever, severe headache, slurred speech, sensitivity to light, numbness, and nausea. Not all symptoms will develop in all patients. For that reason it is best to err on the side of caution.
More Trouble Ahead?
State and federal regulators have been conducting in-depth investigations into the matter and have spent time determining the full scope of the problems at the NECC. Unfortuantely, because of the widespread problems at the facility, regulators now warn that the contamination may not be isolated only to the 17,000 vials of spinal steroid vials that were distributed. In addition, certain drugs used in eye surgeries and even open-heart surgery may also not have been safe. It will be critical for regulators to trace these other possible dangerous drug issues thoroughly to determine if any other local residents were harmed or remain at risk from this situation.
Drug Recall Help in Illinois
The lawyers at our firm are investigating all of these issues stemming from contaminated drugs at the NECC. We are working with residents in Chicago and throughout Illinois who have been affected in any way by the crisis. If you or someone you know is involved, please take a moment to send us a message online or give our office a call to learn more. There is nothing to lose by reaching out and preserving your rights. Please act today.
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The Intersection of Medical Malpractice & Product Liability — The Meningitis Outbreak Example