Local clinic received medication tied to deadly meningitis outbreak

PALMDALE – Universal Pain Management in Palmdale is one of several healthcare facilities around the country that received contaminated medication linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak that has claimed at least eight lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“Yes we did unfortunately receive some of the tainted medication,” Universal Pain Management CEO Lance Jackson said Monday. “All patients that even have the remote possibility of being exposed to this medication have been contacted, and we’re working with the CDC and the L.A. County Health Department extremely closely on this.”

The CDC and state health departments have released the names of approximately 75 healthcare facilities in 23 states that received lots of methylprednisolone acetate, an injectable steroid medication from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

The pharmaceutical center recalled three lots of the medication on Sept. 26 in response to a nationwide outbreak of meningitis and stroke associated with epidural injections of the medication.

The recalled medication has been linked to eight deaths and 105 cases of the fungal meningitis in nine states, according to the latest figures released by the CDC Monday.

Universal Pain Management is one of four California clinics that received the contaminated medication. However, no associated cases of meningitis have been reported at the Palmdale clinic or in California, officials said.

“There has been no direct symptomatology in regards to patient exposure at this point,” Jackson said. “Our patients are being followed up with every single day to make sure that everything is fine, that symptoms do not come up.”

Symptoms that should prompt diagnostic evaluation include: fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, new weakness or numbness, increasing pain, redness or swelling of the injection site, according to the CDC.

Over the weekend, the New England Compounding Center issued a recall for all of its products as a cautionary move due to the risk of contamination.

Jackson said Universal Pain Management has removed another medication from its inventory as part of the most recent recall.

“That one wasn’t tainted, but we have still taken it out of our stock,” he said.

For updates on the multi-state meningitis outbreak  and current case count, visit the CDC website. For a list of the 75 healthcare providers nationwide that received the recalled steroid injections, click here.

  1 comment for “Local clinic received medication tied to deadly meningitis outbreak

  1. Dinky
    October 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Scary I go there for back pain thank god I haven’t had a injection in a while

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