Steroid Linked to Outbreak Sent to Chicago Area; 3 in Indiana Affected


A medical practice specializing in pain management is notifying Chicago-area patients who may have received injections of a steroid medication that has been linked to an outbreak of a deadly form of meningitis.

APAC Centers for Pain Management is the only provider in Illinois known to have received the steroid directly from its manufacturer.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says more providers could be impacted if any third-party distributors are identified as having redistributed the recalled product.

APAC Medical Director Dr. Randolph Chang said in a statement Friday that the recalled product wasn't used at the practice's Indiana sites.

Indiana health officials say three Indiana patients have contracted fungal meningitis.

State Department of Health spokesman Ken Severson confirmed the cases Friday afternoon after initially revising the total to two. He said a case thought to involve an out-of-state patient actually involved an Indiana resident.

OSMC Surgery Center CEO Don Hammond said Friday that two of the Elkhart clinic's patients are among those hospitalized with the rare illness.

Six Indiana health facilities received batches of the medication that was recently recalled by a Massachusetts manufacturer. The other clinics are in Evansville, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute and Columbus.

Nationally, at least 35 people have contracted fungal meningitis and five of them have died. 

The clinics are contacting more than 1,000 patients who received injections.
All received steroid injections, a common treatment for back pain, in the past few months.

Story source: AP