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In Michigan, at least 25 suffer meningitis from tainted medicine

The death toll from the meningitis outbreak is continuing to climb. So far, it has been confirmed that 12 people across the country--three in Michigan--have died after contracting meningitis from potentially contaminated steroid medication.

The medication in question was reportedly injected into as many as 13,000 patients as a pain remedy for joint and back pain, but it is so far unclear how many of these people are at risk of getting the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the number of fungal meningitis cases tied to the outbreak has hit 137.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord lining. Fungal meningitis, which is not contagious, includes symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fever and dizziness.

The company that manufactured the tainted medication has recalled the drugs, and doctors have been urged by the CDC to contact patients who may have received doses from the recalled lots.

Here in Michigan, the family of a woman from Howell who died after being infected with meningitis by the steroid injections is calling for improved drug inspections and regulations in order to prevent these wrongful deaths.

When it comes to medical care, the public has a right not only to expect that doctors and hospitals will provide competent care, but also that medications and pharmaceuticals are safe.

When people are sickened from tainted or defective medicine, it may be possible to obtain compensation from negligent drug companies. And, in tragic cases where people die as a result of unsafe medications, it may be possible for their families to receive damages after filing a wrongful death claim.

However, protections should be in place to prevent outbreaks like this from harming people in the first place.

Source: Detroit Free-Press, "Husband of Howell meningitis victim calls for better drug inspection as 3rd death reported," Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki, Oct.9, 2012

Source: Reuters, "CDC reports 18 more U.S. cases of meningitis from steroid injections," Oct. 10, 2012

  • Our law firm helps people obtain compensation when they lose a loved one due to a tragic accident. To learn more, visit our Ann Arbor Wrongful Death page.

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