Officials at Cass County Memorial Hospital today (Wednesday), issued a press release aiming to reassure the public, that CCMH has not received any of the contaminated steroids which have been linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis in other parts of the country. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Jason Smith said “We do provide steroid injections for pain management here at CCMH.”Smith said “The steroids we use are a different type, do not come from the supplier in question, and have not been contaminated with the fungus.” Smith emphasized that CCMH has never used the specific medication that is involved in this situation for either chronic pain management or labor and delivery pain management. “The steroids we use for epidural pain-control injections are safe, and patients can feel confident proceeding with their care as usual.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently coordinating a multistate investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injection with a potentially contaminated product. Several of these patients also suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infection. Updates about the investigation are available at http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html.
The potentially contaminated medications were from shipped to facilities in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
According to the CDC website, fungal meningitis occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus. Fungal meningitis is rare and usually caused by the spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. It is not contagious, and cannot be spread person to person.