Chicago Drug Injury Attorney Expresses Sympathy for Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Victims and their Families

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The outbreak of fungal meningitis and related illnesses has hit Midwest states particularly hard, says attorney Patrick A. Salvi of the Chicago personal injury firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Chicago meningitis outbreak / contaminated steroid injections lawyer

Chicago drug injury attorney Patrick A. Salvi

These aren’t just numbers or statistics. These are lives that have been lost, individuals who have been severely sickened and families that have been forced to endure painful circumstances.

Chicago drug injury attorney Patrick A. Salvi said today that his firm’s thoughts go out to victims and families that have been impacted by the ongoing outbreak of fungal infections linked to steroid vials that were distributed by a Massachusetts pharmacy.

On October 31, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the number of cases in the outbreak had grown to 377 in 19 states, including 29 people who have died from their infections.

There has been only one reported case in Illinois. However, surrounding states in the Midwest have been hit particularly hard, pointed out Salvi, a veteran Chicago drug injury attorney and managing equity partner of the leading Illinois personal injury firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

According to the CDC, there have been 101 cases of fungal meningitis in Michigan – the most of any state in the country – as well as 48 in Indiana, 14 in Ohio and 10 in Minnesota. Ten people have died in those states.

For the past month, Salvi said his firm has been actively investigating reports of outbreak-related illnesses in Illinois and across the country.

“These aren’t just numbers or statistics. These are lives that have been lost, individuals who have been severely sickened and families that have been forced to endure painful circumstances,” Salvi said. “Our firm can only express our deepest sympathy as well as our commitment to seeking answers these victims deserve.”

According to the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a black mold fungus called Exserohilum rostratum was found in two of three suspected lots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate that was shipped out by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, Massachusetts prior to the pharmacy’s recall of the product on September 26, 2012.

The NECC has since recalled all of its products and is the subject of an ongoing investigation by federal and state health officials.

Even though no illnesses have been linked to other NECC products, the FDA has advised doctors 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.

According to the Boston Globe, an NECC sister company, Ameridose LLC, has also recalled all of its products despite having no reports of illnesses linked to them.

As many as 14,000 patients at hospitals and health clinics in 23 states, including those who received epidural shots for back pain or injections in peripheral joints such as the knees, hips or ankles, were possibly exposed to the fungus at the center of the outbreak, the CDC says.

Out of the cases confirmed by the CDC, 368 involve fungal meningitis, stroke due to presumed fungal meningitis and other central nervous system-related infections. Nine cases of peripheral joint infections have been reported – none of them fatal.

“We have been closely monitoring this outbreak and will continue to give our full attention to those who have been harmed,” Salvi said.

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.

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