More news continues to emerge regarding the growing fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated epidural pain control injections. As we’ve previously explained meningitis is an inflammation of the “meninges” membrane around the brain and spinal cord. Most of the time meningitis is caused by a virus or bacteria. However, on some occassion, like in this incident, it can be caused by a different pathogen–fungus.
According to a new NBC News report the total infected count from the outbreak continues to rise. It is now at 247 total patients, with nineteen deaths. Officials explain that usually those who were the sickest before the infection took the meningitis the hardest. In most cases the deaths were caused by strokes which were spurred by the meningitis.
The story explains how the FDA officals raided the NECC recently–a pharmaceutical compounding plant thought to be at the heart of the problem. The officials were incredibly concerned about what they found, particularly related to cleanliness and sterilization problems. All of this has led regulators to argue that changes need to be made to ensure other compounding pharmacies are not allowed to make similar mistakes. Apparently there remains some confusion among state officials and FDA regulators regarding the scope of their power. The hope is that with somewhat stepped up oversight of these compounding pharmacies–or at least clarity of current rules–steps can be taken to ensure this never happens again. Many suspect that Congress will eventually have hearings on the matter to help get to the bottom of the situation. However, as of yet there are no hearings scheduled.
Meningitis Outbreak in Illinois
Local resident are advised to be aware of how this infection affected those in our communities. The Illinois Department of Public Health explained that over the course of the summer three different clinics in Illinois gave patients injections of the contaminated vials from NECC. Those clinics include the APAC in Lincoln Park, Chicago’s Thorek Memorial Hospital, and APAC in Westchester, Illinois.
If you find that you’ve contracted meningitis as a result of these contaminated pharmaceutical drugs (or if you know someone who has), then it is critical to act prudently. Of course, the first step is to ensure you receive proper medical treatment. As the nineteen deaths make clear, the stakes are too high not to take the infection as life-threatening. In addition, it is important to seek out proper legal counsel to handle the affairs. It is simply unacceptable for a pharmaceutical product to cause harm to the patient. When that occurs, the law provides an avenue for the responsible party to provide compesnation to those affected. Our attorneys are helping those in Illinois with these matters. Please call our office today to see how can help.
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