Additional source of meningitis outbreak reported by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revised its patient notification about the recent fungal meningitis outbreak on Tuesday to include an infected patient who received cardioplegia solution from the New England Compounding Center.

A transplant patient who received NECC cardioplegic solution during surgery was infected with Aspergillus fumigatus. The investigation of the patient is ongoing and it is possible that other explanations could exist for the infection. Cardioplegic solution is used during open heart surgery to induce cardiac muscle paralysis to prevent injury.

On Monday, a patient with a possible meningitis infection who received an epidural injection of an additional product from NECC was reported. The triamcinoclone acetonide injection is a steroid product manufactured by NECC. To date, the other cases of meningitis in the outbreak were associated with a similar steroid injectable product, methylprednisolone acetate.

The FDA advised that healthcare professionals follow-up with patients who received any injectable medication from or produced by NECC. The warning includes injectable ophthalmic drugs connected with eye surgery or cardioplegic solutions bought from or produced by NECC after May 21. Healthcare professionals should inform patients of potential infection and tell the patients to contact their healthcare provider if any symptoms are experienced.

On October 4, the FDA advised providers not to use NECC products and on October 6, the company recalled all its products.