The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 5, 2012

Local hospitals declare patients safe in meningitis scare

LEWISBURG — Administrators at Evangelical Community Hospital today joined Geisinger Health System in declaring that all of their patients are safe from the meningitis scare that is affecting medical patients in six other states.

“In response to media reports of outbreaks of meningitis cases tied to injected steroids for pain treatment, Evangelical Community Hospital reports the hospital and its related offices, surgical areas, and clinics are safe,” Evangelical officials announced today.

“Patients who have received or are scheduled for steroid injections should be assured Evangelical’s pharmacy is not a client and does not use steroid products of the New England Compounding Center, the pharmaceutical company in question.”

Geisinger issued a similar statement, noting that the Geisinger Health System is not a client, and does not purchase medications from the New England Compounding Center.

The Food and Drug Administration this week urged physicians not to use any products at all from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate.

So far, 35 people in six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana — have contracted fungal meningitis, and five of them have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All had received steroid shots for back pain, a highly common treatment.


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