19 Ala. residents linked to tainted meds in meningitis case - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

19 Ala. residents linked to tainted meds in meningitis case

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Department of Public Health is confirming that the number of residents who received contaminated steroid products from the New England Compounding Center has increased from 13 to 19.

The ADPH says 12 residents have been contacted and do not have symptoms of meningitis or fungal infection. One resident has died and an autopsy is pending. The Department says it's working to contact the remaining six residents.

ADPH says it's "likely" more people who received treatment may be identified and contacted as the investigation continues. Each of the Alabamians who received the contaminated products had their medical procedures in either Florida or Tennessee. 

Public Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said Monday that if it turns out any of those patients have meningitis, those cases would be included in the Tennessee and Florida numbers.

At this point in the Food and Drug Administration's investigation, the sterility of any injectable drugs produced by NECC is of significant concern. Out of an abundance of caution, patients who had procedures after May 21, 2012, that utilized an injectable NECC product should be notified by their health care practitioner about potential risk of infection. Examples of procedures include, but are not limited to, epidurals, joint injections, eye surgeries and heart surgeries.  

Earlier Tuesday, CDC provided ADPH with a list of 44 Alabama health care facilities that received NECC products. ADPH is validating the list and says it be contacting these facilities to ensure that NECC products have been removed from inventory and to discuss the process for contacting their patients who received the NECC products.   

If any patients are identified with symptoms suggestive of meningitis or other infections, they should be referred to the appropriate medical provider. In addition, a report should be made to both FDA MedWatch (1-800-332-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch) and to ADPH                      (1-800-338-7384 or www.adph.org/Extranet/Forms/Form.asp?formID=3768). Once the list of Alabama facilities is validated, it will be posted at adph.org.

Patients who received a procedure at one of the identified facilities after May 21, 2012, should self-monitor for at least 3 months following the procedure. Signs and symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting. Signs and symptoms of possible infections include fever, swelling, increasing pain or drainage from surgical site. Patients experiencing any of these should contact their primary care provider and the health care practitioner who performed the procedure.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Department of Public Health

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