Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 30, 2012
Chicago drug injury lawyer Patrick A. Salvi today urged vigilance for any patients who received spinal steroid injections or other products from a Massachusetts pharmacy that has been linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that is impacting victims across the country.
Salvi pointed to a recent Associated Press article in which Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the outbreak, which has been linked to contaminated steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center (NECC), “definitely new territory for us.”
“As this article indicates, this outbreak is posing an unprecedented challenge for health officials, who appear to still be struggling with understanding the outbreak and matters such as how long it should take for symptoms to develop,” said Salvi of the Chicago personal injury firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. “Meanwhile, the number of cases continues to grow.”
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., which was recently featured in Chicago Lawyer magazine, currently is investigating reports of outbreak-related illnesses in Illinois and across the country.
The CDC reported October 29 that the number of confirmed cases of fungal meningitis, stroke due to presumed fungal meningitis and other central nervous system-related infections had grown to 347. There are also seven reported cases of joint infections traced to shots that patients received in areas such as the knee, hip or shoulder.
The outbreak has spread to 17 states, and 25 people have died, the CDC said.
According to the Associated Press, the CDC says that patients face the highest risk of becoming sick within 42 days of receiving one of the tainted steroid injections. However, the AP pointed out, one victim in a 2002 fungal meningitis outbreak became sick more than 150 days after obtaining a contaminated shot.
In the present outbreak, the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed October 15 that a fungus known as Exserohilum rostratum was found in unopened vials of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate from the NECC.
Although no sickness has been linked to other NECC products, the FDA has advised healthcare providers to follow up with any patient who received methylprednisolone acetate or any NECC injectable product on or after May 21, 2012, including an ophthalmic drug often used during eye surgery and a cardioplegic solution.
“What this means is that any patient who may be impacted by the contaminated steroid shots or any of the other products that the FDA has advised health care providers about should remain vigilant,” Salvi said.
“They need to look out for symptoms, and they need to contact a physician right away if they detect any signs of illness.”
According to the CDC, symptoms of outbreak-related illness include new or worsening headaches, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, new weakness or numbness in any part of the body, slurred speech or increased pain, redness or swelling at the injection site.
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.