According to the Florida Department of Health, at least three of the fungal meningitis deaths linked to the contaminated steroid that has caused a nationwide outbreak occurred in this state. These fatalities include a 78-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman. At least 13 people in Florida have fallen ill from the tainted drug, which is injected into the body as a painkiller.
The contaminated steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, originated from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, and it may have been used on about 14,000 people with the national death toll hitting 20. The number afflicted with this particular type of meningitis—specifically, aspergillus meningitis—has now exceeded 230 in 16 states.
The steroids were distributed in over two dozen states. Today, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the fungus Exserohilum rostratum was found in unopened steroid vials that were part of the over 17,000 doses in the three lots that were sent out to clinics. All of the lots have since been recalled.
Already, drug injury lawsuits are being filed, including the Florida meningitis lawsuit on behalf of Godwin Mitchell, 87, whose family claims that he was paralyzed by the tainted steroid injection. Mitchell took the drug to alleviate the pain in his hip.
Even though the compound pharmacy being blamed is located out of state, Mitchell’s Florida personal injury case has been filed here because agents that the New England Compounding Center does business with are located in state. The compounding pharmacy has now shut down operation.
This type of condition can occur when a fungus enters through the membranes that are supposed to protect the spine and the brain. Initial symptoms may include dizziness, fever, headache, slurred speech, and nausea. If untreated, fungal meningitis can lead to strokes, permanent neurological damage, other health issues, and even death. Treatment, which usually includes intravenous antifungal medications, may require staying in a hospital for months.
If you or a loved one developed fungal meningitis after receiving a steroid injection please contact our Hollywood, Florida personal injury law firm right away. Trop and Ameen, PA, would be happy to provide you with a free case evaluation.
Compound pharmacies take medications and package them into different doses and strengths. Currently, the FDA has limited authority over these operations. Products that come from compound pharmacies don’t have to be FDA-approved.
Fungal meningitis outbreak claims 20 lives, Los Angeles TImes, October 18, 2012
Fungal meningitis lawsuit filed today in Orange County, Orlando Sentinel, October 18, 2012
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Avastin Injections Repackaged in Hollywood, Florida Pharmacy Linked to Serious Eye Infections, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, September 8, 2011
The US Drug Watchdog Warns all Fixodent and Super Poligrip Denture Cream Users of Possible Zinc Poisoning, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, October 14, 2009
Florida Defective Medical Device?: DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System Also Reportedly Causing Problems for Some Patients, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, March 31, 2011