By Joe Messa
According to health officials, four more people have died as a result of fungal infections related to tainted steroid injections they received in their backs. So far, 20 people have died and 257 have suffered from infections in 16 different states due to the steroid injections manufactured and distributed by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts. Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and a back injection would put any contaminant in more direct contact with that lining. Although a large number of people have contracted meningitis, most of patients who have died reportedly suffered strokes.
Food and Drug Administration officials raided the NECC facility on Tuesday and the investigation into the company is ongoing. In the meantime, doctors have been asked to follow up with patients who received the injections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the NECC shipped more than 17,000 vials of the steroids to 24 states. All of those lots have been recalled. Patients who suspect they received an injection from a tainted lot of the steroids and who are experiencing symptoms of meningitis including fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and altered mental status should seek medical treatment right away.
Following a raid of New England Compounding Center’s Massachusetts pharmacy earlier this week, officials said that they are worried about the sterility of the company’s products. Also of concern is that the NECC appears to have been distributing controlled substances, including morphine and fentanyl, without a proper license. The pharmacy was also not licensed to mass-produce drugs.
In some states, lawmakers have issued written requests seeking an explanation from the FDA. The FDA reports that it has warned NECC about cleanliness and its distribution practices in the past, but FDA and Massachusetts officials have both stated they did not have enough powers to stop the pharmacy’s production of the tainted steroids or any of its other products.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving injuries as a result of defective drug and pharmaceutical products. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured by a tainted steroid shot, a defective drug or medical device, a negligent medical provider, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More