PRMC Sets Up Hotline to Address Community Comcerns
Public Health Alert from DHMH and the CDC
PRMC Sets up Hotline to Address Community Concerns
Peninsula Regional Medical Center was notified by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) on October 4, 2012 that the FDA had identified a fungal meningitis outbreak related to steroid spinal injections. Although PRMC has not purchased or utilized the affected drug, the community concern has been evident. Director of Pharmacy, Dennis Killian said, “We have received several calls from patients wondering if they should be concerned.”
These injections, commonly used in pain management, were recalled by the producer, the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts on September 26, 2012. Peninsula Regional Medical Center has not purchased or utilized this product, Methylprednisolone Acetate, from NECC.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that patients who have had spinal injections from the clinics or institutions named by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and are experiencing symptoms such as worsening headache, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, new weakness or numbness in any part of the body or slurred speech, should speak to their physician as soon as possible or seek medical attention.
Peninsula Regional would also like the community to know that it did receive two products, Sodium Chloride 23.4% and GI Cocktail-Mylanta 2% Viscous Lidocaine Dicyclomine Syrup 50ml, which were manufactured by NECC.
Both products have not-to date-been linked to any type of infection and were removed from use at PRMC in early October out of an abundance of caution.
Because PRMC or any other healthcare facility who utilized NECC products cannot be certain at this time that other products produced at this facility are sterile, and out of that same abundance of caution, PRMC is contacting all patients-following the guidelines and recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-who were at our facility between May 21 and October 5, 2012 and would have received either drug.
We are informing patients of the symptoms of possible infection and urging them to contact their primary care physician if they experience any of those symptoms.
Again, PRMC has no confirmation that Sodium Chloride 23.4% or GI Cocktail-Mylanta 2% Viscous Lidocaine Dicyclomine Syrup 50ml were contaminated, and we have seen no indications or reports, to date, of infection from either of these products at our Medical Center or anywhere else in the nation.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center was also alerted on October 31, 2012 by the FDA that Ameridose, a company sharing common management with NECC, has issued a voluntary recall of its products out of an abundance of caution. While the FDA has found no evidence, to date, of any contamination issues associated with Ameridose products, PRMC has complied with the FDA’s request to remove all Ameridose products from use.
Because members of our community have had so many questions, PRMC has set up a phone number to call for information. The number is 410-543-4747. “Peninsula Regional Medical Center is committed to supporting our community and we feel this is an important step to reassure the people of Delmarva that we are ready to care for patients any time they need us,” said Cindy Lunsford Executive Vice President of Peninsula Regional.
For additional information and continuous updates on this evolving situation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will post up-to-date information on their web site at www.dhmh.maryland.gov. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be monitoring the situation on their web site at www.cdc.gov.