Hibbing woman who contracted meningitis leaves hospitalThe Hibbing woman who was victimized by a national outbreak of fungal meningitis is out of the hospital and in her parents’ care, her lawyer said on Wednesday.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
The Hibbing woman who was victimized by a national outbreak of fungal meningitis is out of the hospital and in her parents’ care, her lawyer said on Wednesday.
“It’s obvious this has had a profound effect on her,” attorney Frank Yetka of Cloquet said about his client, Susan Edwards.
Edwards spoke briefly on Wednesday from her parents’ home in Cloquet, but referred all questions to Yetka.
Edwards received injections for chronic back pain in July from two Twin Cities clinics owned by Medical Advanced Pain Specialists, according to Yetka. She received the steroid, preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, provided by the New England Compounding Center, which has been linked to the outbreak. As of Wednesday, 377 cases of fungal meningitis or a related illness had been reported in 19 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 29 deaths. Minnesota has reported 10 cases and no deaths.
Although several Northland clinics purchased medications from the New England Compounding Center, none received the steroid linked to the outbreak.
Edwards was taken by ambulance to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center on Oct. 5, said her mother, Mary Olson. She left the hospital early last week, Yetka said.
No decision has been made about pursuing legal action, Yetka said. He’s in the process of compiling Edwards’ medical records before taking any further steps.
A number of lawsuits have been filed against the Massachusetts-based company, including a class-action lawsuit filed by Barbe Prudo of Savage, Minn., according to media reports.
Fungal meningitis, which is not contagious, is a rare infection usually spread through blood to the spinal cord, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and altered mental states.
Ameridose, a company with the same founders as the pharmacy linked to the meningitis outbreak, said Wednesday that it’s recalling all its products after federal inspectors said it must improve its sterility testing process.
In a statement, Ameridose said it issued the recall “out of an abundance of caution.”
“Ameridose and FDA agree that the use of injectible products that are not sterile can represent a serious hazard to health and could lead to life-threatening injuries and/or death,” the company said. “We are undertaking this recall to assure customers that when Ameridose products are shipped, they are fully in conformance with all of the FDA’s recommendations.”
Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said she knows of no infections linked to the recalled products. The company posted a lengthy list of the recalled products, including painkillers, anesthetics and blood thinners, on its website Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.