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Area hospitals on new FDA list of facilities that received 'suspect material' from center linked to meningitis outbreak

Sharon Hayes • Oct 24, 2012 at 8:04 AM

The Food and Drug Administration released a new list Wednesday naming the health care facilities across the country that received “suspect material” from the New England Compounding Center linked to the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

Several health care facilities in the Tri-Cities region are on the revised list including Indian Path Medical Center in Kingsport; Johnson City Medical Center and Franklin Woods Community Hospital in Johnson City; Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol; Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton; Laughlin Memorial Hospital and Takoma Regional Hospital in Greeneville; and Lakeway Regional Hospital in Morristown.

No health care facilities in Wise, Lee or Scott counties in Southwest Virginia are on the list.

The FDA issued an earlier list Monday but pulled it Tuesday, citing technical difficulties and inaccuracies. The initial list included 10 health care facilities in Northeast Tennessee, while the revised list includes eight facilities.

The FDA’s revised list — on the web at www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/FungalMeningitis/UCM325467.pdf — lists health care facilities that received material from the NECC since May 21. The material includes injectable medications used in some eye and heart surgeries.

Health care facilities identified on the list are advised to check their stocks to identify whether they have any products from the NECC, and if so, immediately isolate those products from their drug supplies, according to the FDA.

As of late Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control had identified fungal meningitis in 317 people in 17 states. Some 24 people have died.

In Tennessee, 70 cases have been identified, and nine people have died, Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, M.D., said Wednesday afternoon.

“We extend our sympathies to these patients, their families and their friends. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to those who were treated with contaminated medications from the New England Compounding Center, and who are now enduring the stress and uncertainty of not yet knowing if they might be infected,” Dreyzehner said.

He said the Tennessee Department of Mental Health has established a crisis line to help those coping with the uncertainty of the outbreak. The number is 1-855-CRISIS-1, or 1-855-274-7471.

The fungal meningitis outbreak has occurred in patients who received injections near the spine (back or neck). The signs and symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, and altered mental status.

The Massachusetts compounding center linked to the outbreak is now under a criminal investigation.

Dreyzehner said his department is reviewing the FDA’s revised list and will verify receipt of materials where necessary.

“Presently we can advise that we have 57 facilities whose invoices indicate they received recalled NECC products,” he said.

The revised FDA list includes 64 health care facilities in Tennessee.

For more information or to ask questions about the outbreak contact the Tennessee Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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