Sherman got drugs from supplier linked to meningitis, but no tainted steroids
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News October 24, 2012 10:15PM
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:40AM
ELGIN — Sherman Hospital in Elgin is among an additional 49 Illinois hospitals and clinics that may have received recalled products from a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The Illinois Department of Public Health Monday said it is alerting the clinics and hospitals because of concerns that additional products may have been contaminated. They include health facilities that received a drug used during eye surgery.
Tonya Lucchetti-Hudson, public relations director at Sherman Hospital, said Sherman never ordered or stocked the potentially tainted steroids from the New England Compounding Center. However, six other drugs ordered from that company have been pulled from the Elgin hospital’s pharmacy and isolated “out of an abundance of caution,” she said.
“We did have other drugs from NECC,” Lucchetti-Hudson said. Those six other drugs were pulled and isolated on Oct. 8, she added.
There are no confirmed reports nationwide of fungal meningitis — or any other adverse effects — from the other drugs that were pulled, she said.
Hospitals order drugs from third-party combiners such as NECC because of overall drug shortages, Lucchetti-Hudson said. The hospital is working with doctors to find suitable replacement drugs for those pulled from the shelves, she said. “We are using suitable alternatives at this point.”
The clinics and hospitals are being asked to notify patients who may have received injectable drugs on or after May 21 that were manufactured by New England Compounding Center. Those patients should watch for signs of infection.
A deadly outbreak of a rare fungal form of meningitis has been tied to steroid shots made by the company since May.
Last month, the company recalled the steroid shots that went to clinics in 23 states. That recall was later expanded to all its products, and the lists show they went to an even longer list of states.
There have been a reported 317 illnesses and 24 deaths nationwide related to the steroid shots.
Illinois continues to report just one probable case of fungal meningitis.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.