The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a list of facilities that received a medication being linked to the meningitis outbreak. Pennsylvania is one of the more than 20 states that received this medication. Several health care facilities that treat claimants on workers' compensation are on the list. The CDC has joined with the Food and Drug Administration to investigate this outbreak of more than 200 cases, but not all those who received the tainted epidural steroid injections will become ill.
The medication has been recalled by the manufacturer in the hopes of stopping the contaminated injections from being used on additional patients. At this time, the original source for the outbreak has not been found.
The CDC website has a listing of the health care facilities that received the recalled medication. It is important for patients and claimants who have been treated recently with epidural steroids to ensure that they have not been exposed. Meningitis is a potentially-fatal inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.
For workers' compensation claimants who are already dealing with illness or injury due to a workplace incident, the addition of more stress can only be negative. This information, though concerning, is important to bear in mind, both in seeking future treatment by ensuring that injections are from different lots than the recalled items, and in seeking testing for meningitis and acquiring treatment quickly.
Workers' compensation claimants who are trying got get well and get back to work have enough to worry about without the threat of additional illnesses brought on by errors elsewhere. It's your right to know what substances are being used for your treatment, so ask lots of questions and pursue the details of your treatment if you feel you may be affected by this outbreak.
Source: Business Insurance, "Health care facilities that take workers comp cases linked to meningitis outbreak: CDC," Roberto Ceniceros, Oct. 9, 2012