Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Meningitis Outbreak Prompts Warnings, Recalls Right Here in Pittsburgh

With the current outbreak of meningitis, more than 17,000 vials, which have been linked to 35 cases, five fatal, were sent out to offices and clinics in 23 different states. The Massachusetts pharmacy, New England Compounding Center, that made the vials is recalling all of its products nationwide. The amount of unused vials is currently unknown. The shipments of the vials were sent out between July and September.

Authorities have suggested that any patients who have received the drug see a physician immediately. The vials were contaminated with an unknown fungus that is causing a rare brain infection that needs months of intravenous antibiotics to cure. They believe the fungus might be Aspergillus, a type of fungus that is found on decaying vegetation, hay and grain. Methylprednisolone acetate gets injected around the spinal cord in the lower back to relieve pain caused by disks or spinal stenosis. It gets to the brain through cerebrospinal fluid.

Tennessee reported 25 cases and three deaths. Other states reporting cases include Maryland and Virginia. Pennsylvania does not have any confirmed cases but are contacting patients at two pain clinics who may have received the contaminated medication. The pain clinics are South Hills Pain and Rehab Associates at various locations and Allegheny Pain Management in Altoona, PA. The clinics are no longer using the medication.

New England Compounding Center, responsible for the contaminated vials, is currently under investigation. The state's Board of Registration in Pharmacy received complaints before that led to investigations. No violations were ever found previously.

Read the full story here.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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