Emmett hospital and eastern Idaho clinic received recalled steroid
State health officials say a hospital in southwest Idaho and a private clinic in the eastern part of the state are the only two medical facilities that received shipments of a recalled steroid linked to a deadly outbreak of meningitis.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare identified the facilities Friday as the Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett and Idaho Falls-based Pain Specialists of Idaho.
Agency Spokesman Tom Shanahan said doctors at both locations are working to notify patients who may have received an injection of the recalled drug. The injections have been recalled by the facility that produced them. It is believed the solutions injected may have had fungal contamination.
No illnesses have been reported in Idaho patients who have received the injection. Nationally, 47 people have been diagnosed with infection, with five deaths reported. All infections occurred in seven states located east of the Mississippi River.
Both the Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls were notified by public health officials of the danger and are cooperating with the public health investigation and are working with their doctors to notify patients who may have received an injection with the recalled drugs.
Fungal meningitis is not transmitted from person to person. All infected patients did receive an injection with preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate prepared by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., but investigators continue to examine all possibilities as the source for the outbreak.
Anyone who has received this type of injection from either of the Idaho facilities since July 1st should seek evaluation from their health care provider immediately if they experience symptoms. Symptoms may include a new or worsening headache, dizziness, fever, nausea, and sensitivity to light. A number of people who became ill also had symptoms of stroke, such as weakness or difficulty with speech.
Patients who received the injections can also contact either of the two facilities at:
• Walter Knox Memorial Hospital: 208-365-3561 extension 3212
• Pain Specialists of Idaho: 208-522-7246
Healthcare providers who evaluate symptomatic patients who have had exposure to the recalled product have been asked to contact their local public health district or the Idaho Division of Public Health to report cases.