Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Leads to Steroid Injection Recall

May 24, 2014
by The Atkins & Markoff Team

Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Leads to Steroid Injection Recall

Federal health officials have issued a warning to consumers and medical professionals throughout the United States regarding a potentially dangerous steroid injection that has led to a number of deaths and illnesses due to an outbreak of a rare fungal meningitis. The methylprednisolone acetate injections that the New England Compounding Center (NECC) mixed itself are believed to have been contaminated with aspergillius, a common mold that somehow tainted the company’s vials of the epidural injections. Earlier this week, a steroid injection recall was issued by the Massachusetts company, which had already shipped 17,676 vials of the medication to 75 pain clinics throughout the country. If you received a steroid injection for pain management, and you believe you may have been exposed to fungal meningitis, contact our defective drug attorneys at AMA Law as soon as possible.


There have already been eight deaths and 105 illnesses associated with the contaminated steroid injections, which are given directly into the spine as a treatment for back pain. The initial drug recall issued by the New England Compounding Center affected three lots of the methylprednisolone acetate medication, although NECC recently announced that its recall now encompasses all methylprednisolone acetate products and all other injectable medications distributed by the company. The FDA has since warned doctors and hospitals not to use any NECC drugs since a sealed vial taken from the compounding pharmacy tested positive for fungal meningitis. Fungal meningitis is a form of meningitis caused by a fungal infection, considered to be the most devastating type of meningitis for patients and the most difficult to treat.


Fungal meningitis causes inflammation of the spinal cord and the protective membranes surrounding the brain, which typically results in an infection of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis resulting from the epidural steroid injection may include headache, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, nausea, mental confusion and increased sensitivity to light. In most cases, signs of meningitis develop within three to seven days after exposure, and as the disease progresses, the symptoms may become more severe, possibly resulting in seizures, coma and death. Following the deadly meningitis outbreak, a number of defective drug attorneys are investigating claims for patients diagnosed with fungal meningitis after receiving one of the tainted injections. If you believe you may have been exposed to a contaminated epidural steroid injection, contact our drug injury lawyers at AMA Law today. Our experienced defective drug attorneys, led by Dan Markoff and Jeff Atkins, can help you protect your legal rights and pursue compensation from the allegedly negligent compounding pharmacy.