Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 31, 2012
As a national outbreak of fungal meningitis and joint infection cases linked to tainted steroid shots grows, Chicago drug injury lawyer Patrick A. Salvi is urging potentially infected patients to be cautious.
On October 31, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the number of cases in the outbreak had climbed to 377 in 19 states, with Rhode Island being the latest state added to the list. Out of that number, 29 people have died.
“Over the last few weeks, our law firm has received hundreds of calls and e-mails from patients who believe they or a loved one may have been exposed to the potentially contaminated steroid injections at the center of this outbreak,” said Salvi, a veteran Chicago drug injury attorney from the firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
“You can tell that their anxiety level is high, and understandably so,” Salvi said. “The best thing they can do is to err on the side of caution by getting checked by a physician. If they are, indeed, suffering illness related to this outbreak, they should be getting treatment right away and taking steps to protect their health and their legal rights.”
The CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have linked the outbreak of fungal infections to a black mold fungus discovered in lots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate that were produced by the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center (NECC) and shipped to clinics in 23 states.
The CDC estimates that 14,000 patients – mainly those receiving back pain injections or injections in peripheral joints such as the knees, hips or ankles – may have been exposed to the fungus. The infections have proven to be aggressive but not contagious.
No illnesses have been linked to other NECC products. Still, the FDA has advised physicians to follow up with patients who were administered any NECC injectable product on or after May 21, 2012, including those used in eye and cardiac procedures.
Out of the 377 confirmed outbreak cases, the majority (368) involve fungal meningitis, stroke due to presumed fungal meningitis and other central nervous system-related infections, according to the CDC.
The signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis include fever, headaches, neck stiffness, nausea, sensitivity to light and altered mental status, the FDA says.
The CDC reports that there have also been seven cases of peripheral joint infections. The signs and symptoms of those illnesses include fever, swelling, increasing pain or redness at the injection site or drainage from the site, according to the FDA.
Salvi said his firm has been providing regular updates on the outbreak on its Chicago personal injury website and informing potentially impacted patients and their families of their legal rights and options.
“By staying informed and getting the help they need, those impacted by this crisis are taking important steps to protect themselves,” Salvi said. “Our firm stands with them.”
About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Chicago personal injury firm with offices in Chicago (22 West Washington Street, Suite 1600, Chicago IL 60602) and Waukegan (218 North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085). The firm represents clients in matters involving medication errors, emergency room errors, failure to diagnose, hospital negligence, physician error, birth injuries, surgical malpractice, anesthesia errors, organ puncture/perforation, post-operative and pre-operation malpractice and surgical complications. The firm’s success in medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death cases features recoveries of more than $630 million on behalf of its clients, including more than 180 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. To learn more about Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., call (312) 372-1227 or use the firm’s online form.