Thursday, 4 April 2013

Contaminated Injectable Steroid Still Causing Health Problems

Readers may remember some 6 months ago there was a serious accidental release of vials of steroid medication intended for injection that were contaminated with fungi. There were hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis as a result as steroids are often injected into the spine to relieve pain.

You may be surprised to know that new cases are still being identified - this illustrates the ability of fungi to 'hide' from doctors and their diagnostic tests for long periods of time.

Quoting from the original article:

Feeling unusually lethargic in January, Terry Trost wrote off her melancholy as seasonal depression, but she later found out that it was something much worse. 
After five months of lab tests coming back inconclusive, Trost found out in February that she is among 730 people nationwide who have fungal meningitis. The illness is potentially deadly, and it is caused by exposure to tainted back pain medications that were distributed in 23 states from coast to coast. The drugs, manufactured by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, were supplied to six clinics in Indiana, including OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart. 
Trost and her daughter, Nicole Kovach, received injections to relieve back pain on Sept. 26 at OSMC. That evening, batches of medications were recalled for contamination.

Naturally this is a warning to anyone who had similar spinal injections on or before October 2012 in the areas of the US effected by contaminated steroid solutions to remain vigilant for the warning signs mentioned in this report (lethargy, severe headaches and more), but it is also a warning to us all (doctors and patients) that fungi can be very difficult to detect and treat and that better ways of diagnosing serious fungal infections are still needed.

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