Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Grows, as Second Illness Strikes Meningitis Victims

Bernstein Liebhard LLP continues to investigate fungal meningitis lawsuits amid reports that victims of tainted epidural steroids provided by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) are now being stricken with epidural abscesses.

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The news of this new illness is disturbing, especially in light of the fact that the number of fungal meningitis cases related to NECC’s tainted steroids is still growing.

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 06, 2012

Victims already suffering from fungal meningitis linked to contaminated epidural steroids supplied by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) are being stricken with a second illness, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports. According to The New York Times, some patients who received NECC steroid injections to treat back or neck pain are developing epidural abscesses. These localized infections occurred even while patients were taking powerful antifungal medicines, putting them back in the hospital for more treatment. In some cases, they required surgery, the Times said.*

“The news of this new illness is disturbing, especially in light of the fact that the number of fungal meningitis cases related to NECC’s tainted steroids is still growing,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing the victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The firm is currently offering free fungal meningitis lawsuit evaluations to anyone affected by this outbreak and the NECC epidural steroid recall.

As many as a third of those diagnosed with fungal meningitis are experiencing epidural abscesses. Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) characterized the epidural abscess reports as “very serious,” and “not something that was expected,” according to the Times. Patients with an epidural abscess may experience severe pain near the injection site. But as the abscesses are internal, and present no visible signs on the skin, diagnosis often requires an MRI.

Fungal Meningitis Lawsuits

In September, Massachusetts-based NECC announced an epidural steroid recall for 17,000 vials of preservative-free methylprednilosone injections. The recalled epidural steroids were distributed to 76 facilities in 23 states. Some 14,000 people are known to have been injected with one of the contaminated steroids, according to the CDC.** NECC eventually recalled all of its drugs and voluntarily surrendered its license to operate.

A second compounding pharmacy, Ameridose Inc. of Westborough, Massachusetts, has also announced a precautionary recall of all of its drugs after federal regulators found that manufacturing conditions at its facility did not ensure sterility of its products. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Ameridose is owned by some of the same people who own NECC. No adverse events have been associated with the Ameridose recall.***

The CDC reports that 419 people in 19 states who received NECC steroids have suffered fungal infections. The count includes 409 cases of fungal meningitis, 30 of which were fatal, in people who received epidural steroid injections to treat back pain. Ten peripheral joint infections were reported in patients who received steroid injections in their hips, knees, shoulders and other joints. According The New York Times, a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspection of NECC’s facility in Framingham revealed unsanitary conditions including “greenish-yellow residue on sterilization equipment, surfaces coated with levels of mold and bacteria that exceeded the company’s own environmental limits, and an air-conditioner that was shut off nightly despite the importance of controlling temperature and humidity.”

A number of fungal meningitis lawsuits have already been filed across the country by people who were allegedly sickened by NECC’s epidural steroid injections. Recently, plaintiffs in fungal meningitis lawsuits pending in federal court petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all federally-filed claims in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota for pretrial proceedings. (Bansale v. New England Compounding Pharmacy, No. 12-14559 [E.D. Mich.])

Victims of the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to epidural steroid injections may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Learn more about filing a fungal meningitis lawsuit by visiting Bernstein Liebhard LLP’s website http://www.consumerinjurylawyers.com/. For additional information, contact one of the firm’s fungal meningitis lawyers today at (877) 779-1414.

  • nytimes.com/2012/11/03/health/second-illness-infects-meningitis-sufferers.html?_r=0
**cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html
***online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203707604578091030674715480.html

About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices and consumer products. The firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the “Plaintiffs’ Hot List,” recognizing the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country, for the past 10 consecutive years.

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(877) 779-1414

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