Roper Saint Francis Healthcare said Wednesday that some of its patients received a drug manufactured by the firm under investigation for a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a tainted steroid.
The hospital used the New England Compounding Center product Nalbuphine, a pain medication injected into a vein or muscle. It did not use the NECC steroid linked to fungal meningitis in 15 states.
“No cases of fungal disease have been associated with Nalbuphine. Clinicians will be following up with patients who received Nalbuphine,” the hospital said in a prepared statement.
The number of patients affected by the situation was not immediately available.
The action is happening because of a recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that is based on an “abundance of caution.”
Roper Saint Francis Healthcare includes Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital.
The Medical University of South Carolina does not use products made by NECC, said spokesman Tony Ciuffo.
Information on whether East Cooper Regional Medical Center used NECC products was not immediately available.
The national scope of the problem continued to grow on Wednesday as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 247 cases of fungal infection, most of them fungal meningitis. A few of the cases are fungal infections linked to injections of the suspect steroid into a joint. Deaths from fungal infections rose Wednesday to 19, up from 15 reported Tuesday.
NECC made hundreds of medicines that have been recalled. The firm voluntary surrendered its license early in the ongoing FDA investigation that began in late September.
The FDA advised doctors to contact patients who received methylprednisolone acetate spinal injections after May 21.
Intervene MD in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston has contacted 257 patients who received spinal injections of the suspect steroid and 78 people who had the drug injected into a joint. No cases of fungal meningitis have been reported in South Carolina. The clinic is the only one reported so far in South Carolina to have received and used the possibly tainted steroid.
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