The Centers for Disease control have confirmed the root of the recent meningitis outbreak as tainted vials of a steroid often used on people suffering from back pain. The vials originated from a Massachusetts company, and have all since been recalled. No infections have been reported in Connecticut, but it is reported that 39 patients in the state were treated with the steroid. They have all been tested for meningitis and all were found negative.
Sixteen states have reported infections totaling, at this time, 257. There have been 20 deaths. This incident marks the first time that the CDC has had to tackle such a rapid spread of infection originating from a tainted medication. Meningitis is a serious infection that can be fatal if not treated properly and rapidly. It causes an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The CDC has estimated that 14,000 patients were exposed to the tainted steroid, and that 90 percent of these affected patients had been contacted for testing and treatment.
Fortunately, there have not been any cases in Connecticut. However, this health crisis should remain a concern for any person undergoing medical treatment. Patients should feel free to ask their doctor questions, both about their diagnoses and their treatment, and any side effects should be taken seriously.
Medical malpractice suits can originate from cases like this one, where human error and negligence cause the illness or death of a patient. For families who feel that they have been affected in this way, consulting an experienced medical malpractice attorney can offer options that they may not have known they could pursue.
Source: The Examiner, “CT Lawmakers link lax oversight of compounding pharmacy to meningitis outbreak,” Renee Canada, Oct. 18, 2012