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Thread: NY Times article on dangers of some spinal steroid injections

  1. #1
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    Default NY Times article on dangers of some spinal steroid injections

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/he...ions.html?_r=0

    part of the article reads:

    A culture of the patient’s spinal fluid had revealed a fungus, Aspergillus. The patient was so ill that he could no longer communicate, so Dr. Pettit spoke to the family.

    “I told them it was a very unusual cause of meningitis in healthy people, and that we needed to try to figure out how he got this infection,” she said.

    Had he done anything unusual in the weeks before he became ill? she asked.

    The answer alarmed her. He had had a steroid injection in his spinal area to relieve back pain — a common treatment, administered to millions of people in the United States every year.

    Dr. Pettit called the State Health Department.

    She is now credited with being the clinician who recognized the “index case” in what has become a frightening outbreak of meningitis that has killed two people and sickened 12 others who also received steroid injections in their spines for pain. Doctors suspect that the steroid medicine was contaminated with the fungus. The meningitis does not spread from person to person.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

  2. #2

    Default It sounds like this is being downplayed

    There have been two hospitalized pain patients in S. Central KY and KY is not listed as one of the effected states. Spooky.

  3. #3
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    How long hasthis been going on? My S/O had 12 ESI'S during the 1998 and on period. One froze her bladder so she had to deal with an indwelling Foley Cath. for six moths - could this have been an efffect?
    Thanks
    Blessings
    Alex44
    skypilot

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    This has been a "bomb" waiting to go off for some time. All of these "compounding pharmacies" are only overseen by the state board of pharmacy and nearly all the inspectors don't know enough about what goes on to know if there is something going wrong. This kind of compounding is technically called "HIGH RISK" compounding ... for a reason ... I made my wife walk out of a pain clinic 7-8 yrs ago - that was going to implant a pain pump.. but.. would not discuss putting anything in it but something from a compounding pharmacy and not the commercially available product (Infumorph)... for this - and some other - reasons.. I made her walk out of the practice... IMO.. the only thing that got this pharmacy caught was that it was a very rare fungus... I just wonder how many other cases of spinal meningitis are just "toss out" as the risk of having spinal injections... and not the source that came from a compounding pharmacy... Why do docs do this... BECAUSE .. the way billing is... they can purchase these compounded drugs for 10%-25% of the cost of the commercially available product.. and get paid as if they used the commercial product. Why do you think they call these docs "needle jockeys" ... there is no money in writing oral pain meds... You just have to follow the money trail
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/l...itis-outbreak/
    NECC pharmacy - surrenders license and shuts down operation
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  6. #6
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    Steve, thanks for the info and the up-date of this story. It makes you wonder what else is going on with our medications.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

  7. #7
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    There is a book that a Pharmacist just published ... also available as ebook
    http://www.amazon.com/Pharmacy-Expos...t+can+go+wrong
    --
    PHARMACY EXPOSED.... 1000's of things that can go wrong in the drug store...

    most/all chain pharmacies are operating with such under staffing that most days.. it is nothing more than semi-organized chaos ... the whole medical system is not much better... it is now estimated that medical errors/mistakes kills 200,000 people every year.. and we are suppose to have the best healthcare system in the world....
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  8. #8

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    Scary stuff!

    Diagnosed with stomach/esophageal CA in 10/99. Surgery opening abdomen and chest to remove stomach, esophagus, and spleen. Surgery about 10 days later for with lung infection. Was given about a year to live. 5 more surgeries in as many years, for hernias and adhesions, including removing about half of the colon. Thoracic problems from radiation, upper left abdominal pain from adhesions. Pump implanted in 2000. Shiny new pump in 2011. Oldest son diagnosed with stomach CA in 9/2000. Died 9/22/2001

  9. #9
    Distinguished Community Member Pharmacist.steve's Avatar
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    This was written by a Pharmacist that has been a Pharmacist for nearly 40 yrs... the things in his book are not fiction.. but factual... and yes it is scary stuff... but the corporate pharmacies are run by people who believe that threats and intimidation is an appropriate management style.
    Here is a new link from today http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f..._story_display
    CVS is apparently being investigated for Medicare/insurance fraud
    Pharmacist Steve
    www.pharmaciststeve.com

  10. #10
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    Default Spinal Shots

    This is the first time in about 3-4 years that I have not received spinal injections in my lower back and I am so happy that I don't have to worry about this. It is a crime that these patients have been harmed by something that is supposed to help them. This is so appallingly wrong on several fronts and the people responsible should be punished severely.

    Gabriella
    Progressive/Relapsing MS, Myasthenia Gravis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
    Advocate for ADA, Artist's Community for Change, ADAPT, Universal Living in Place, HopeKeepers, Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    "Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own"........Adam Lindsay Gordon

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