The fungal meningitis outbreak that began in October of 2012 caused a well-founded scare among patients nationwide and resulted in 39 deaths and 620 illnesses. Fungal meningitis results in inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord and is potentially fatal.
Some Arkansas hospitals and clinics had received medications from the New England Compounding Center at the center of the scandal but no cases of fungal meningitis have been reported in the state. Although one Arkansas college student died from meningitis in November, it was from a different bacterial form of meningitis.
The fungal meningitis that caused the outbreak in October had its source at a pharmacy in New England that has since filed for bankruptcy. The pharmacy failed to follow proper sterilization procedures and distributed tainted steroid injections. Those injections led to a variety of infections in patients including the deadly, but not contagious, fungal meningitis.
At this point, the outbreak seems to be contained but the investigation into whether there were any other negligent parties is ongoing and medications from the New England pharmacy have been recalled. Health officials are warning patients that have recently had spinal steroid injections to be on the lookout for symptoms of fungal meningitis, such as neck pain, headaches, fever, fatigue, muscle aches and vomiting.
Medical mistakes happen, and sometimes the doctors and health care workers who are supposed to help end up hurting us instead. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you need an experienced attorney who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Please contact our office to set up an appointment.