Local Hospital Recalls Medications Made by Company Linked to Meningitis Outbreak

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Thomasville, GA - A local hospital is warning some of its patients of a possible risk connected to recalled medications.

A few weeks ago the FDA recalled a list of medications produced by the New England Compounding Company - the same company linked to the tainted steroid shots.

Archbold Memorial Hospital noted that one of the additional recalled medications had been used at the Thomasville location, so it sent this letter. "any patient who received the medication after may 21st has been notified to watch for symptoms." so far Archbold has not treated anyone with fungal meningitis.

Atlanta, GA, October 19, 2012 - The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is confirming the state’s first case of fungal meningitis related to contaminated epidural steroidal injections. The patient is a 66-year-old female who lives in Bibb County (Macon), Ga. The patient is clinically stable, not hospitalized and is under the care of an infectious disease physician.

The patient received an injection of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate from one of three implicated lots prepared by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), located in Framingham, Mass. The patient is among those who reported symptoms after receiving an injection for back pain at the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center in Macon.

At least two other drugs produced by NECC also are being investigated by FDA. One is an ophthalmic drug used in eye surgery and the other is a cardioplegic used to paralyze the heart during heart transplant surgery. To date there has not been any positive link between these drugs and the fungal meningitis outbreak. Out of an abundance of caution, the FDA is advising doctors to follow-up with patients who received an NECC injectable product shipped after May 21, 2012.

These fungal infections are not transmitted person-to-person. DPH has been working with Georgia physicians and physicians assistants to raise awareness about patients who have symptoms that suggest possible fungal infection. The symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and altered mental status. Symptoms of other possible infections may include fever; swelling, increasing pain, redness, warmth at injection site; visual changes, pain, redness or discharge from the eye; chest pain; or drainage from the surgical site. People who received medications from NECC since May 21, 2012 and experience symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html.


About the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. In 2011, the General Assembly restored DPH to its own state agency after more than 30 years of consolidation with other departments. At the state level, DPH functions through numerous divisions, sections, programs and offices. Locally, DPH funds and collaborates with Georgia's 159 county health departments and 18 public health districts. Through the changes, the mission has remained constant – to protect the lives of all Georgians. Today, DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information about DPH, visit www.dph.ga.gov.

Thomasville, GA, October 10, 2012 - A local State Senator is recovering after being hospitalized with meningitis.

South Georgia Senator John Bulloch has been admitted to Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville.

According to a press secretary from the State's Senate Office, he is receiving treatment there and has been responding well to it.

Bulloch was sworn into the state senate in 2003 to represent District 11.