If you or a loved one has become ill with fungal meningitis resulting from an epidural steroid injection for back pain, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
The Methylprednisolone acetate steroid injections were manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Farmington, Massachusetts and delivered to seventy-six clinics in 23 states, including Minnesota. Administration of the steroid began on May 21, 2012. Many individuals have become ill and some have died. There was also a case of a patient receiving the injection for ankle pain and contracting a joint infection as a result. More of these cases may exist.
Fungal Meningitis Symptoms
Fungal Meningitis has an incubation period of 42 days, which is why those that received the initial injections took so long to become ill. However, the CDC is not entirely sure if 42 days is the longest the illness will incubate; it could be longer. Patients could experience subtle symptoms for month before becoming seriously ill. The early symptoms of fungal meningitis, which affects the spinal cord and membranous lining of the brain include:
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
- Slurred speech
- Redness and swelling at the injection site a month or so after the injection
The CDC has also stated that methylprednisone acetate is used to treat knee, ankle, and shoulder pain and it is expected that there will be more joint infection cases. The symptoms of a joint infection include pain or redness at the injection site, swelling, and fever.
A fungal infection in any part of the body can be cause for disability or death. In addition, the antifungal medications that are being used to treat the fungal infection can be difficult for patients to tolerate over time. It is unclear how the fungi found its way into the vials. After distribution of the steroid to the clinics, the FDA confiscated fifty sealed vials and found that they were contaminated. It is also unclear exactly how many individuals will require treatment. Nonetheless, having to deal with a life threatening illness involves a great deal of pain and suffering, as well as medical bills that are not the fault of the patient.
Fortunately, all infected patients and their families have rights and it is important to know those rights. Because of the injuries and medical costs, you may be entitled to compensation. In fact, the lawsuits against the manufacturer have already begun and representation by a Minneapolis fungal meningitis lawyer who is experienced in representing clients in infectious disease cases will yield the best results.
Contact A Minnesota Fungal Meningitis Attorney
Fungal meningitis can be fatal or lead to permanent disability. If you have a loved one currently battling fungal meningitis or you have suffered from it and are recovering or recovered, contact Terry, Slane & Ruohonen as soon as possible to learn about your rights and options. Contact us immediately at (612) TSR-TIME for a free consultation.