News about the pharmaceutical compounding firm at the center of the latest meningitis outbreak continues to pour in. As we reported, well over a hundred cases of meningitis have already been identified in various states across the country as a result of steroid injections that were tainted, allegedly by the pharmaceutical compounding company. Over 17,000 vials of the product were sent into the marketplace, according to various reports. Of that group, at least 13,000 may have been used in different clinics, including in Illinois. Those who received the drugs are at risk of developing a rare and dangerous fungal meningitis. Several cases have already resulted in deaths.
This week the Tennessean reported on new information related to past problems that the very same company had a few years ago involving meningitis contamination.
The report indicates that eight years ago the company was implicated in an individual’s meningitis death. The man’s widow filed suit claiming that the steroid injection in his back caused the meningitis and ultimately led to his death. The man died in early 2004, and the subsequent lawsuit was settled the following year. As is commonplace with many negligence settlements, the terms of the agreement were confidential.
In addition, according to state records, complaints were also lodged against the company in 2002. Eventually that complaint led to a consent decree in 2006 that required the company to undergo a full inspection of its compounding procedure. That prior inspection was done in conjunction with the state and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Illinois Meningitis Outbreak
Local residents are likely wondering if they or someone they know might be affected by this outbreak. It is important to note that at least three clinics in our area have acknowledged that they gave patients injections of the epidural steroid at some point between July and September of this year. Those clinics are three APAC Centers for Pain Management. One is at the Thorek Hospital Professional Building in Chicago. Another is the APAC in Lincoln Park. And the third is in the Prairie Medical Building in Westchester, Illinois.
All patients who show any symptoms of the meningitis are advised to seek medical help immediately. Several people have already died as a result of this situation, and so it is critical to act promptly. Some common signs include stiff neck, headache, nausea, and sensitivity to light. In addition, stroke related signals may also be caused by the fungal meningitis, such as slurred speech and mobility problems on one side of the body. Importantly, you do not have to show all of these symptoms-even one or two are cause for alarm. The prudent step is always to visit with medical professionals to ensure you receive quick treatment if necessary.
In addition, be sure to protect your legal rights in the aftermath of this incident. The injury attorneys at our firm are working with those affected to ensure they are compensated for any losses they incur and to demand that the compounding firm be held responsible.
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