Consumers put a lot of trust in drug companies to produce and sell drugs that they believe will cure our ailments. But when things go wrong consumers and patients may end up with more problems than they may have started with. In Macon, Georgia, an elderly woman contracted fungal meningitis after using contaminated steroid injections to treat her back pain.
Georgia’s first steroid injection meningitis case
The elderly woman had received an epidural injection of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate at the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center in Macon, the only place in Georgia known to have received the contaminated drug. The contaminated steroid came out of New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts. NECC is currently under investigation for two other drugs, one used during eye surgery and one used during heart transplant surgery.
According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fungal meningitis outbreak has caused 30 total deaths in 19 different states. In total, over 400 people have fallen ill after receiving the contaminated injections. Warnings have been sent out to health care workers throughout the state of Georgia with a list of symptoms to look for which may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stiffness in the neck
- Light sensitivity
- An alteration of mental faculties
What to do if you suspect you were given the contaminated steroid
If you received a steroid injection and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or pain around the injection site, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will be able to evaluate your symptoms and tell you if the injection you received was from any of the known contaminated lots.
If you discover that you received an injection from a contaminated lot and become ill as a result, you are entitled to compensation for your resulting losses. You may be entitled to actual damages, punitive damages or both. Actual damages include economic damages and non-economic damages and are intended to repay a person for actual losses. Compensation for past and future medical costs, past and future lost wages and lost business opportunities are examples of economic damages. Compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress and the like are examples of non-economic damages. Punitive damages are compensation awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages and are intended to punish the drug manufacturer and deter others from acting negligently in the future.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a contaminated or defective medical product or drug, a products liability attorney can help you file a personal injury claim for compensation from the manufacturer.