The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) now reports that products from a Massachusetts company tied to a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis were shipped to clinics in the Natural State as well as hospitals.
Here's the complete list:
- Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock
- Earl MD Advanced Aesthetics in Bentonville
- Veterans Hospital in Little Rock
- Northwest Medical Center in Springdale
- North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison
- Siloam Springs Regional Hospital
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock
- University of Arkansas Cancer Institute Pharmacy in Little Rock
The ADH stresses that NONE of the products shipped to Arkansas include the specific steroid injection linked to the meningitis cases, but were other products made by the Massachusetts company.The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is in contact with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Arkansas hospitals and clinics to identify all those products and the facilities to which they have been sent, in order to assure that the products are not being used.
Dr. Dirk Haselow, medical director, Communicable Diseases and Immunizations, said, "We understand that people might be concerned about this. We are working with the eight providers (six hospitals and two clinics) in Arkansas who received these products to recall these medicines and notify patients if physicians feel a patient might be at risk for illness. They know their patients' medical needs and risk factors and can best identify any patients they may need to contact. None of the products distributed to any Arkansas facility has been associated with illness at this time. The recall is being done out of an abundance of caution due to conditions observed at the NECC plant."
After receiving notification from FDA and CDC about the potential problem with other NECC products, the ADH began contacting affected facilities. Haselow said, "Our providers in Arkansas are actively engaged in identifying these medicines and are following this outbreak closely. Several had already removed NECC products prior to this additional recall."
The CDC says 19 people have died in the outbreak that has infected another 247 people in 15 states, as of last report.
Click here for more information on the CDC investigation.
Original story (10:15 a.m.):
Arkansas has been added to the list of states in a recent multi-state investigation into an outbreak of fungal meningitis.
The investigation has been expanded to include all products made by a single compounding pharmacy, New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts.
Some of that company's products were shipped to hospitals in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
The ADH says it is in close contact with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify all those products and the hospitals to which they have been sent, in order to assure that the products have been removed from the shelves.
According to Nate Smith, MD, ADH Deputy Director and State Epidemiologist, these actions are being taken as a precautionary measure.
"Right now, we don't have any clear association with any human illnesses, but the FDA is taking action out of concern that there could be additional infections," Smith said.
ADH is contacting the hospitals that have received any of the injectable or implantable compounds to be sure that they are not used.
The cases of meningitis that have been identified as part of the multi-state outbreak investigation were found to be caused by fungi that are common in the environment but rarely cause meningitis. This form of meningitis is not contagious.