At least 34 North Texas hospitals and clinics are on a list of facilities that received possibly tainted medication from the New England Compound Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts.
The drug-maker has been linked to almost 400 cases of fungal meningitis and nine cases of fungal joint infection. These cases were caused by three lots of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) steroid injections that were tainted with the black mold, Exserohilum rostratum. However, after investigating, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found bacterial contamination in two other medications produced by the facility: betamethasone, which is used to treat skin conditions and inflammation, and a cardioplegia solution, used during heart surgery. No illnesses have been definitively linked to these drugs. However, after observing a lack of proper sterility at the manufacturing facility, the FDA issued a notice urging doctors, clinics, and hospitals to stop the use of all drugs manufactured by the New England Compound Center.
The FDA has also called for a voluntary recall of all medications shipped from NECC since May 21, 2012. Thirty-four clinics and hospitals in the Dallas area received these medications.
Two of these facilities, Dallas Back Pain Management Center and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Southlake, received the tainted steroids. Two cases of fungal meningitis have been confirmed in patients treated at these facilities. All patients have been alerted.
North Texas health care centers that received other medications manufactured by NECC include: Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Medical City in Dallas, Medical Center of Arlington, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Huguley Memorial Medical Center in Burleson, and Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth. All facilities have stopped using the recalled drugs.