The Atlanta Injury News Blog

Steroid Injections Linked to Meningitis Scare Used in Georgia

Steroid injections that have been linked to a meningitis outbreak were distributed in Georgia, Channel 2 Action News reports.

The steroid injections, used to alleviate back pain, have now been linked to more than 100 cases of fungal meningitis in at least nine states. According to health officials, the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center in Macon received the potentially tainted steroids and administered them to its patients.

The tainted steroids were manufactured at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., according to The Associated Press. The first reported outbreak occurred two weeks ago in Tennessee. So far, no cases of meningitis have been reported in Georgia.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord. Symptoms include nausea, severe headaches, dizziness and fever. Fortunately, the fungal meningitis linked to the steroids isn't contagious.

So far, 160 of the patients who received the drug in Macon have been contacted. While no one has tested positive for meningitis, it can take a while for the disease to manifest itself, the director of Georgia's division of health protection said.

Six of the Macon patients treated with the steroids have reported mild symptoms like headaches. However, all six experienced those symptoms before their injections, authorities said.

Those infected with meningitis after being treated with the steroids could file product liability suits against New England Compounding Center. In general, product liability law requires that a product meet the ordinary expectations of a consumer. Consumers usually don't expect a product to have a dangerous side effect or defect.

If a consumer is somehow injured as a result of such defect, he may bring a product liability suit against the manufacturer or seller of the product, claiming negligence, strict liability, or a breach of warranty. A successful suit would allow the victims to recover damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, and any lost wages.

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