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Increase in Non-Meningitis Fungal Infections from Contaminated Injections

November 26, 2012 — A new Health Advisory from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning that dozens of new cases of non-meningitis fungal infections have been linked to contaminated medicines from New England Compounding Center. Since the medicines were recalled more than 7 weeks ago, nearly 500 people have fallen ill and 34 have died in 19 states. Most people were diagnosed with fungal meningitis, but since November 4, more than 70% of new cases have been non-meningitis fungal infections.

The CDC has received reports of fungal infections in people with meningitis and without meningitis. In some cases, these fungal infections have become severely painful, chronic conditions that are very difficult to treat. According to the CDC:

“Although cases of fungal meningitis continue to be reported, CDC has recently observed an increase in the number of patients presenting with evidence of epidural abscess, phlegmon, discitis, vertebral osteomyelitis, or arachnoiditis at or near the site of injection.”

Although the most common symptom was back pain, this symptom can easily be overlooked due to the patient’s underlying back pain or a meningitis infection. Therefore, the CDC recommends that doctors perform and MRI in patients with new or worsening symptoms of back pain. Furthermore, the CDC recommends that all patients with meningitis should get an MRI to check for an infection, even if the patient does not have back pain.

The CDC has received reports of the following types of non-meningitis fungal infections:

  • Epidural abscess: This is a collection of pus surrounded by inflammation and swelling at the site of the injection.
  • Phlegmon: This is similar to an abscess, but without precise boundaries. The inflammation and pus is diffused throughout the infected tissue.
  • Discitis: This is a low-level infection characterized by inflammation of the space between two vertebrae.
  • Arachnoiditis: This infection involves inflammation of the arachnoid membrane, which surrounds nerves in the spinal cord. The inflammation can cause scar tissue to form around the nerves, which can damage nerves and cause chronic pain, burning sensations, numbness, muscle cramps or spasms, sexual dysfunction, incontinence, and paralysis.

The CDC has also reported that 12 people have fallen ill with peripheral joint infections, which are fungal infections that inflame tissues in the joint spaces of the knee, shoulder, or ankle.

Do I have a Fungal Infection Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting fungal infection induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a contaminated medicine from New England Compounding Center, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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