PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) has identified the state's third case of illness linked to the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak. The patient, a male in his fifties from Warwick, received a spinal epidural injection at Ocean State Pain Management on September 22, 2012 from one of the three contaminated lots. The patient sought care at an area hospital today and is being treated.
Two Rhode Island facilities - Ocean State Pain Management, with offices in Woonsocket and East Greenwich, and New England Anesthesiologists of Warwick - received medication from any of three lots recalled by New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts. These lots have been linked to a multi-state outbreak of meningitis following epidural steroid injection. Additional lots of the medication, although not linked to the outbreak at this time, have also been recalled.
In total, 266 patients in Rhode Island received the recalled medication. Those patients have been notified both by mailed letter and through phone calls.
HEALTH continues to work with the facilities and to monitor this situation in Rhode Island as part of the national investigation.
This type of meningitis is not transmitted from person to person. Only patients who received an epidural steroid injection containing medication from one of these recalled lots should contact their healthcare provider if they experience symptoms such as fever, new symptoms of headache or worsening headache, new stiff neck or sensitivity to light, or symptoms suggestive of a new stroke such as slurred speech, new or worse difficulty walking, or increased dizziness or falls. Patients should also seek care if they have worsening pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
For more information on the national outbreak, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html. For more information on the recall, see the Food and Drug Administration website at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm322752.htm