Region not likely affected by tainted injections


October 9, 2012

OHIO VALLEY — The meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections distributed in 23 states, including West Virginia and Ohio, has a zero to low probability of turning up in the region, according to health care officials.

For patients who receive injections at Pleasant Valley Hospital, there is zero chance those tainted medications were used.

According to Tracy Stewart Call, director of marketing for PVH, “The patients and family members of Pleasant Valley Hospital will not be affected by the recent multistate meningitis outbreak. The Pleasant Valley Hospital Pharmacy does not purchase compounded injectable products from outside pharmacies.”

PVH then released a statement from John Beaver, PVH’s pharmacy director that stated: “My pharmacy team compounds these and other injectable medications such as the medication in question in-house. We maintain tight cleanroom controls in our designated mixing zone. This removes the contamination risk and brings a quality finished product for our patients. Furthermore, my team takes all necessary training and precautions as set by both the Joint Commission and the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Both organizations conduct inspections to make sure our team is properly trained and adheres to USP797 guidelines.”

Tonya McGuire, epidemiologist for both the Meigs and Gallia County Health Departments said so far, nothing related to the tainted injections has turned up in the counties she works in. However, she cautioned she didn’t want to give the impression it was impossible for someone in our area to be in the “unfortunate situation” of receiving one of the contaminated injections, simply because patients now travel distances for their medical care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the facilities that received the contaminated products and none of those facilities include local health care facilities PVH, Holzer Health System or Family Healthcare, Inc. However those which did receive the tainted injections in Ohio and W.Va. have been identified as being BKC Pain Specialists, LLC, of Marion, Ohio; Cincinnati Pain Management of Cincinnati, Ohio; Marion Pain Clinic of Marion; Ortho Spine Rehab Center, Inc., of Dublin, Ohio; PARS Interventional Pain of Parkersburg, W.Va.

McGuire said if anyone has concerns about what injections they’ve received they should contact their physicians. She explained if anyone would show up at a local health care facility in Ohio showing symptoms of the rare form of fungal meningitis, that facility is to notify their local health department which then notifies the Ohio Department of Health.

The CDC reported on Tuesday that New England Compounding Center (NECC) has voluntarily expanded its recall to include all products currently in circulation that were compounded at and distributed from its facility in Framingham, Mass.

In addition, on Tuesday, the death toll for those who received the contaminated injections rose to 11 with 119 cases reported in 10 states, including Ohio. ODH has not released the county of residence of the 65-year old patient who contacted meningitis from the tainted injection. This form of fungal meningitis is not contagious, according to the CDC.

The CDC also states, patients have had symptoms generally starting from one to four weeks after their injection. Not all patients who received the medicine will become sick. Symptoms that should prompt patients to seek medical care include: fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, new weakness or numbness, increasing pain, redness or swelling of the injection site.