Meningitis Outbreak Attorneys for Contaminated Steroid Injection in Tennessee

by mdp | October 11th, 2012

Our lawyers are investigating potential malpractice and products liability lawsuits stemming from the fungal meningitis outbreak occurring in Tennessee.

The suspected contamination of a popular steroid injection manufactured by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy has led to an outbreak of a rare form of fungal meningitis across the United States, with Nashville and Middle Tennessee suffering the greatest number of cases. The New England Compounding Center (NECC) recently recalled 17,676 vials of its methylprednisolone acetate injection – commonly administered directly into the spine to relieve back pain – after discovering that the steroid medication may have been contaminated with aspergillius, a common mold that somehow tainted NECC’s epidural injections. Health officials have reported that as many as 13,000 people received shots of the steroid suspected in the widespread meningitis outbreak, leaving more than 130 people seriously ill and at least 12 dead. If you received a steroid injection of the potentially dangerous methylprednisolone acetate in Tennessee, contact our meningitis outbreak attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates as soon as possible.

Epidural Injection Uses

Methylprednisolone acetate is an injectable medication that combines a steroid with a numbing drug, and is commonly used to relieve pain associated with irritated and inflamed nerves. Since the 1990s, injections like the methylprednisolone acetate steroid have become increasingly popular among those seeking pain relief, used most frequently among the baby boomer generation for achy backs and other bothersome chronic pains. In 2011 alone, roughly 2.5 million Medicare recipients opted for the steroid injections, along with an equal number of younger patients, most often as a means of putting off surgery.

Potential Side Effects of Tainted Steroid

Compounding pharmacies like the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center are a popular resource for medications, because they are known to provide widely-used drugs at a far lower cost than major manufacturers. Because of this, many hospitals and doctors have turned to compounding pharmacies for their medications, despite the fact that these facilities are subjected to much less strict regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal drug authorities. The greatest potential danger associated with compounding pharmacies is that the facilities mix up batches of the medications on their own, typically to provide a customized treatment for a particular health problem from scratch.

Unfortunately, the steroid injection manufactured by NECC somehow became contaminated and made its way to 75 pain clinics across the United States, exposing thousands of patients in 23 states, including Tennessee, to life-threatening fungal meningitis. Symptoms of the life-threatening fungal meningitis potentially associated with the contaminated steroid injection may include fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and mental confusion. In most instances of meningitis, signs of the illness occur within three to seven days after exposure, and as the disease progresses, the symptoms can become significantly more severe, possibly leading to seizures, coma and death.

Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

With at least a dozen deaths already linked to the tainted steroid injection, the meningitis outbreak attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates are urging recipients of the medication to seek medical attention immediately, and then contact an experienced lawyer to protect their legal rights. The fungal meningitis outbreak has already caused tragic illnesses and death in Tennessee and other states across the country, and there’s no telling how many deaths the tainted drug will leave in its wake. If you received an epidural steroid injection of methylprednisolone acetate from a Tennessee facility, our meningitis outbreak lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates can help. Contact our Nashville personal injury law firm immediately to defend your rights and discuss your options for legal recourse.

Symptoms of meningitis resulting from the epidural steroid injection may include headache, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, nausea, mental confusion and increased sensitivity to light. In most cases, signs of meningitis develop within three to seven days after exposure, and as the disease progresses, the symptoms may become more severe, possibly resulting in seizures, coma and death.