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backem 10-05-2012 08:30 AM

Is anyone concerned about the meningitis cases..
Heard on the news and have read about some back patients developing meningitis after steriod epidurals because either the steriod itself or the anaestatic itself was contaminated.

I had a SI joint steroid injection about a month ago. I haven't had any type of meningitis symptoms but that does have me a little worried. Here is the story.

NASHVILLE (AP) An outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis has now sickened 26 people in five states who received steroid injections, health officials said Wednesday. Four people have died.

Eighteen of the cases are in Tennessee where a Nashville clinic received the largest shipment of the steroid suspected in the outbreak. The drug was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that has since issued a recall.

Three cases have been reported in Virginia, two in Maryland, two in Florida and one in North Carolina. Two of the deaths were in Tennessee; Virginia and Maryland had one each, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

More new cases are almost certain to appear in the coming days, said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner. Cases in that state began in July and five new cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours, he said Wednesday.

Investigators have been looking into at least three different products used for the back injections that could have been tainted by the fungus that appears to be behind the illnesses. None of the products have been ruled out. However, the primary suspicion is on steroid medication, which is commonly used for back pain.

The Food and Drug Administration identified the maker of the steroid as the New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy in Framingham, Mass. Last week, the company issued a recall of three lots of the steroid. Company officials could not be immediately reached Wednesday afternoon by telephone; the company's website was unavailable.

An infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University says he believes the country will see more cases in the upcoming weeks.

Dr. William Schaffner chairs Vanderbilt's Department of Preventive Medicine. He has been following the investigation into the cause of the infection since it was first detected in a patient at the university's hospital about two weeks ago.

Schaffner said he believes part of the reason for the Nashville cluster is early detection.

Calin 10-05-2012 12:03 PM

Re: Is anyone concerned about the meningitis cases..
Hello backem,

I am glad you posted this. I almost posted something myself on Wednesday evening when the story first broke. I had an injection that morning in Indianapolis, IN. I was nearly frozen in my tracks as I heard it on the evening news.

Many states have received this medication. Indiana is one of them and the hospitals or pain centers that actually used the medication have been identified. For anyone who is concerned or not sure, I would highly recommend calling your provider and asking the question!!

I called. I was not the first caller and I was assured that my hospital in Indianapolis has not used this medication and does not use this compound for injections. Today they have a notice posted on their website to reassure patients who have received recent injections and even noted the provider of their steriod injection medications.

If you are concerned, call your provider and ask. You have a right to this information.

I hope you are feeling relief. I felt much better yesterday but not so good today. I know it can fluctuate during the first week, so I'm staying positive. I've been through this several times and I often go up and down over the first few days.

Boopie1963 10-05-2012 12:21 PM

Re: Is anyone concerned about the meningitis cases..
I just I had two of these done in the last six weeks at a doctors office in North Carolina
I just today got word from the DR that they dont use the suppliers that were affected

Thank god that's not the way I wanted to end my pain for sure

Calin 10-05-2012 12:26 PM

Re: Is anyone concerned about the meningitis cases..
So glad to hear that for you as well. It was scary....and while I am still hoping the pain eases up, I am so grateful that my hospital did not use this.

Hope you are doing well.

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