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Getting Dangerous Fungal Meningitis from Epidural Back Pain Injections

Updated on October 11, 2012
Microscopic part of the tissue of the meninges of the brain
Microscopic part of the tissue of the meninges of the brain | Source

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Imagine that all you are trying to do is get back pain relief, by having an epidural steroid injection for back pain, and you end up really ill - or worse - with fungal meningitis instead. Your back pain concerns would pale in comparison. Fungal meningitis is not contagious, but is certainly dangerous. You do not want to get fungal meningitis.

Unfortunately getting dangerous fungal meningitis from epidural back pain injections is exactly what has happened to many back pain sufferers in the United States.

A fungal meningitis outbreak affected many United States citizens who received steriod back pain treatment via epidural injection. Folk suffering from back pain in quite a few states were affected: Tennessee, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Ohio, and some people died.

By the 9th of October 2012, over 110 fungal meningitis cases had been reported, and just over 10 deaths had been reported too.

Contaminated vials of the steroid to treat back pain are the culprit, and the Massachusetts company that made the steroid must be feeling pretty bad, and in trouble - but nowhere near as bad or as in trouble as the affected back pain patients and their families felt, or are still feeling.


Voluntary Recall of Three Lots of Contaminated Methylprednisolone Acetate Steroid Injections

The Massachusettes based pharmaceutical company recalled their contaminated methylprednisolone acetate steriod injections, but many people who had been receiving this steriod treatment via epidural injection had already been infected and affected. Obviously the families of the ill or deceased have been affected too.

This Fungal Meningitis Outbreak is a Tragedy

Over 70 medical facilities or clinics in over 20 states had the contaminated steriod injections in stock at the time of the recall.

Although fungal meningitis is rare and not contagious, who wants it? Nobody. Fungal meningitis is far from being a mild disease.

Anybody who has received steriod epidural injections for back pain treatment from May 2012 onwards should check with their doctors if a methylprednisolone steroid that came from the The New England Compounding Center (the Massachusettes based compounding phrarmacy that produced the steriod injections) was used on them, and if so, should undergo tests to see if they are infected, so that they could begin treatment right away. Treatment may include a stay in hosptial to have anti-fungal medication intravenously administered.

This fungal meningitis outbreak is indeed a tragedy. One person or company makes a mistake, and many suffer. Makes one concerned about receiving any form of treatment for any ailment. When one receives treatment for a diagnosed health problem or illness, one expects to recover or feel better, not get more ill, or worse.

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak 2012 Lawsuits

Many United States lawyers are accepting fungal meningitis cases. These lawyers are there to assist you or your family with filing a compensation claim or lawsuit against the manufacturers of the contaminated steriod injections. Many lawyers in the United States offer free consultations, so you have nothing (more) to lose by calling a free consultation lawyer or two, by telling them about your fungal meningitis experience, and by asking them questions.

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    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      @ bdegiulio - I've been somewhat following this fungal meningitis outbreak topic too - yes, it's a tragedy and both sad and frightenening. Thanks for the sharing etc.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Teresa. We've been following this tragedy here and it is so sad. It just seems to get worse by the day. Thanks for publishing this informational Hub on the outbreak. VU, sharing, etc.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks for the comment, Jackie - I've never yet had a flu shot either. Yes, it can be a very sad world indeed - and dangerous. Thanks for the up and sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have been hearing about this, horrible. How on earth do they let something like this happen? The reason I never get a flu shot, besides the fact they say there is no way for them to know what to put in the flu shot. It has been 10 years I am sure since I have had it too, simply from diet and not eating out in winter. Great info Teresa. I have read with many of these medicines they make so much they can afford the suits. Sad world, huh?

      Up and sharing.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks, strkngfang - I bet you're really glad you opted for pills instead of an injection two months ago, in case the injection was one of these contaminated ones. Yes, it's frightenting not really being sure anymore if what is supposed to help you will actually help you, or if it will make things worse.

    • strkngfang profile image

      strkngfang 

      5 years ago

      Nice write up. I've had several of these injections in past years and nearly had one two months a go, but opted for the pills instead. It seems like every day anything from food, medicine etc that was deemed safe will now hurt or kill you. I try to keep everything out of my body that doesn't belong.

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