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With all the news about fungal meningitis outbreak, a lot of us in Alabama have breathed a sigh of relief because none of the products were apparently shipped to or actually used in Alabama. However, the facilities in the neighboring states of Florida and Tennessee have been identified as receiving the contaminated compounds. Close to us here in Mobile are two Pensacola facilities: Interventional Rehabilitation Center and Pain Consultants of West Florida. The Alabama Department of Health recently sent out an announcement that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with state public health departments on a multistate investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural or joint steroid injection.

As we all know now, the contaminated steroid medication was prepared by New England Compounding Center (NECC), located in Framingham, Mass. While no Alabama healthcare facility received the initial three recalled products, some have received NECC’s sterile injectable products and other NECC products. NECC is recalling all products and notifying its customers of this recall by fax. Also, now clinics, hospitals and healthcare providers that have product which is being recalled are to stop using the product immediately. They are also told to retain and secure the product, and follow instructions contained in the fax notice. CDC is not asking clinicians to contact patients who received other products from NECC, aside from the three initially recalled lots of steroid injectables, to assess for symptoms. However, clinicians are told to remain vigilant, and report to the state public health department, any infection identified in a patient known to have received a product from NECC. If you are a patient who has received what you believe to be NECC products, you may want to contact your physician for a follow up consultation or office visit.

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