The maker of the steroid solution that was used at Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center has voluntarily recalled the product. However, theTennessean reports that there has been no definitive link between the steroid solution and the fungal meningitis infections that have injured nine people and killed two. The company that manufactured the solution has not been identified.
All of the infected patients received lumbar epidural steroid injections at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center between July 30, 2012 and September 20, 2012. All 737 patients who received the injections during this period have been contacted by the facility. The Center has now been voluntarily closed.
Meningitis is a infection of the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal court. Media reports indicate that Aspergillus, a mold commonly found outdoors, is the infectious organism impacting the Saint Thomas patients. This type of meningitis is not spread by person-to-person contact.
It appears that two other health care facilities received the steroid solution from the same manufacturer. Patients of those facilities are also being contacted.
Those who have received an lumbar epidural steroid injections and have symptoms of headaches, fever, numbness or slurred speech should seek immediate medical attention.