Recent National Outbreak of Aspergillus Meningitis Related to Epidural Steroid Injections

10/17/2012

Contact: Tammy G. Love

VP of Business Development

Phone: (336) 651-8116

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked the source of the compounded steroid injection to The New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. The steroid injection called Methyprednisolone Acetate was contaminated with Aspergillus according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The contamination resulting is an outbreak of Aspergillus Meningitis from the spinal steroid injections. Although Wilkes Regional does not purchase steroidal injections from the New England Compounding Center, the physicians serving the Diagnostic Center, Diagnostic Imaging, Operating Room and Anesthesia at Wilkes Regional temporarily stopped giving the epidural steroid injections during the initial phase of this public health concern. This has not applied to epidurals provided in Labor and Delivery which are not steroidal injections. The Radiologists serving the Diagnostic Center and Diagnostic Imaging department and the Anesthesiologist have contacted their patients receiving spinal steroid injections to address any questions or concerns dealing with the steroid injection contamination.

The Physicians and Pharmacy Staff at Wilkes Regional feel the CDC has found the link to the contaminated steroid injections and have determined that there has been no risk of exposure to any patients who have undergone this procedure at Wilkes Regional. The compounded product of Methyprednisolone has never been used in epidural steroid injections at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. Kenalog is one of the steroids used at Wilkes Regional for epidural injections. It is made by a different manufacturer which has not been affected by the recent contamination. The Physicians and Pharmacy Staff at Wilkes Regional have reviewed all available data and have determined it is save to resume the practice of spinal steroid injections with Kenalog at this time.

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