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Published on October 24, 2012

URGENT LETTER TO ALL CKHS PATIENTS

October 24, 2012

You may have read or heard about a national outbreak of fungal meningitis from epidural steroid injections. Here are the facts as they currently stand:

  • On October 4, 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that some lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone purchased from the New England Compounding Company (NECC) were contaminated and the source of fungal meningitis in some patients.
  • We immediately confirmed that Crozer-Keystone has not purchased or used any of this contaminated medication.
  • At the same time, Crozer-Keystone's pharmacy removed ALL NECC product from distribution.
  • We identified all patients who had received epidural methylprednisolone for pain management, and began contacting them to reassure them that they had not received the contaminated medication.
  • Then, on October 15, 2012 the FDA reported that two other medications, a cardioplegia solution and triamcinolone acetonide for epidural use, were also implicated in the contamination.
  • Again, we immediately confirmed that Crozer-Keystone has not purchased or used any of these other two contaminated medications.
    The FDA directed all providers to notify patients who received ANY injectable medications or ophthalmic medications associated with surgery and prepared by NECC after May 21, 2012 that they were at potential risk for developing infections.
  • While Crozer-Keystone has not purchased or used any of the three contaminated medications, we have administered other non-implicated medications prepared by NECC. 
  • In accordance with the FDA directive, we have prepared a database of all patients who received identified classes of medications prepared by NECC between May 21, 2012 and October 5, 2012, and we will be notifying these patients by mail at the end of this week.
  • In the letter, we are advising patients that in the unlikely event that they experience symptoms of infection they should seek prompt medical attention.
  • We are also asking patients who have questions to call our call center, (610) 619-8200 which will be open Monday, Oct. 29-Saturday, November 3 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Based on information received so far, we do not believe that any Crozer-Keystone patients have been exposed to contamination of medications prepared by NECC. 

This continues to be a fluid situation. We will keep you informed of further developments and will continue to do our best to ensure the safety of all medications administered at Crozer-Keystone Health System facilities.

Sincerely,

Eric Dobkin, M.D., FACS, FCCM
Crozer-Keystone Health System
Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety
Chief Quality Officer

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