Chicago Drug Injury Lawyer Calls Finding of Bacteria in Additional NECC Products ‘Alarming’

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Attorney Patrick A. Salvi of the Chicago personal injury firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. reacts to news that bacteria has been found in two other products supplied by the pharmacy at the center of a multistate outbreak of fungal infection cases.

Chicago fungal meningitis outbreak / contaminated steroid shots lawyer

Chicago drug injury lawyer Patrick A. Salvi

We are deeply concerned about the health and welfare of patients exposed to any tainted medical products, and we encourage them to contact their physicians.

Chicago drug injury lawyer Patrick A. Salvi said today that his firm is deeply concerned that bacteria has been discovered in additional products supplied by the Massachusetts pharmacy that has been linked to a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis and joint infection cases from contaminated steroid shots.

“This is an extremely alarming development,” said Salvi, managing equity partner of the Chicago personal injury firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., which is currently investigating outbreak-related illnesses in Illinois and across the country.

“We are deeply concerned about the health and welfare of patients exposed to any tainted medical products, and we encourage them to contact their physicians,” he said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced November 1 that lab results had revealed the presence of bacteria in samples of two recalled New England Compounding Center (NECC) products.

The FDA said that the Bacillus bacteria had been identified in three separate lots of the NECC’s preservative-free injectable betamethasone. Additionally, the FDA said it had found the bacteria in a single lot of the NECC’s cardioplegia solution, which is used in cardiac procedures.

“The clinical significance of these results is not known,” the FDA said.

The FDA and CDC had previously discovered the fungus Exserohilum rostratum in two different lots of NECC-supplied preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA). That is the steroid, mainly used in epidural injections for back pain patients, which has been linked to illnesses across the country.

On November 5, the CDC said the outbreak from contaminated steroid shots had grown to 419 cases in 19 states, including 30 deaths. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota are among states with reported fungal meningitis and/ or peripheral joint infection cases.

The NECC has recalled all of its products. Its sister company, Ameridose, LLC, also voluntarily recalled all of its unexpired products in circulation. No infections have been linked to Ameridose products.

Although the bacteria discovered in the two additional NECC products has not been linked to any illnesses, the FDA said the finding does “reinforce the FDA’s concern about the lack of sterility in products produced at NECC’s compounding facility and serve to underscore that hospitals, clinics and health care providers should not use any NECC-supplied products.”

Salvi agreed with the FDA’s cautious approach, adding that any patients who believe they have been exposed to potentially contaminated NECC products should seek legal help in addition to medical assistance.

“It’s important that patients and their families protect their legal rights and understand the options available to them,” 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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