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Silver Cross, Little Company say they carry no drugs associated with meningitis scare

Updated: November 25, 2012 11:40AM



Contrary to a list released by the Food and Drug Administration, Silver Cross Hospital officials say they did not receive any medications from a company tied to a fungal meningitis outbreak.

Meanwhile, Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park said in a statement that although it has bought products from the compounding pharmacy, none of the products has been associated with the outbreak.

The materials in question were produced by New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

“We have not received or purchased any medications produced by NECC,” said Tracy Simons, a spokeswoman for Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. “We don’t buy anything from them.”

Simons noted that the FDA announced there were errors on its list. A statement on the agency’s website says, “FDA has found some technical problems with the list and the data are incorrect. FDA is working to correct the list and will re-post when we are sure it is accurate.”

The list is available at www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/FungalMeningitis/default.htm.

Little Company of Mary said that upon its initial notification about the outbreak from the FDA, the hospital’s pharmacy department “swiftly acted to remove all products purchased from this compounding pharmacy.” Its pharmacy and infection control teams immediately notified all key physicians and departments that the hospital has never carried any of the implicated products, the statement said.

The products associated with the outbreak include steroid injections, cardioplegic solutions and ophthalmic preparations, Little Company of Mary officials said.

The New England Compounding Center is linked to a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis from steroid injections. The Illinois Department of Public Health is alerting the clinics and hospitals because of concerns that additional products may have been contaminated. They include health facilities that received a drug used during eye surgery.

The clinics and hospitals are being asked to notify patients who may have received injectable drugs on or after May 21 that were manufactured by the Massachusetts pharmacy. Those patients should watch for signs of infection.

Symptoms include a new or worsening headache, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, new weakness or numbness in any part of your body, slurred speech, increased pain, redness or swelling at your injection site.

As of Monday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control reported 297 cases of meningitis tied to the outbreak and 23 deaths. Illinois continues to report one probable case of fungal meningitis.



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