Statement regarding steroid injections in the news linked to meningitis

Hospital for Special Surgery does not use any drug for back pain that has been linked to meningitis

New York—October 25, 2012 

UPDATE:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a list of providers that received products from New England Compounding Center (NECC) since May 21, 2012. Although Hospital for Special Surgery did not receive any drugs from NECC, we are on the list because one of our private practice physicians prescribed one medication for a patient from this compounding company. Although the medication prescribed is not methylprednisolone, the steroid linked to meningitis, this physician realized that the drug was from NECC and did not give it to the patient. 

At Hospital for Special Surgery we do not use any medications that have been linked to the meningitis outbreak and NECC. HSS physicians use FDA approved medications from known pharmaceutical companies for spinal procedures such as epidural steroid injections.

At HSS our patients’ safety and well-being are and have always been our top concerns. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call your physician's office.

 

UPDATE: October 16, 2012

A number of our patients have expressed concerns about steroid injections for back pain as a result of current news reports on this topic.

At Hospital for Special Surgery we do not use any medications for back pain made by the compounding pharmacy that has been in the news in connection with a rare outbreak of meningitis. HSS physicians use FDA approved medications from known pharmaceutical companies for spinal procedures such as epidural steroid injections.

To further clarify, HSS does not use any drugs made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

As board-certified physicians with advanced training in interventional spine procedures,  our doctors who specialize in performing spinal injections have been safely providing these treatments at Hospital for Special Surgery for many years. An epidural injection is one of the safest procedures that one can have for back pain or sciatica. We perform these injections frequently as part of a comprehensive program for recovery from back pain including the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

To reduce the risk of infection, HSS physicians use brand-name medication from single-dose vials and perform injections using meticulous sterile technique.  The quality control process begins with proper storage of the drug and carries through to the time when it is given to the patient in a procedure room that is only used for sterile injections. 

At HSS our patients' safety and well-being are and have always been our top concerns. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call your physician’s office.

 

UPDATE: October 8, 2012

An estimated 13,000 patients may have been exposed to the tainted spinal steroid injections which have sickened more than 100 people with fungal meningitis and killed eight, federal officials said Monday, as clinics and surgery centers continued to reach out to those who could be affected.

 

October 4, 2012

An outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis has sickened 26 people who received steroid injections mostly for back pain, according to health officials. None of these patients was treated in New York.

Eighteen cases of fungal meningitis were in Tennessee where a Nashville clinic received the largest shipment of the steroid suspected in the outbreak--methylprednisolone. The drug was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that issued a recall last week. Investigators say they are still trying to confirm the source of the infections.

Three cases have been reported in Virginia, two in Maryland, two in Florida and one in North Carolina.

We want to reassure you that at Hospital for Special Surgery we do not use any drugs made by the manufacturer referenced above. In addition, the drug methylprednisolone is not used to treat back and neck pain at HSS.

If you have any additional questions, please call your physician’s office.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology, No. 10 in neurology, and No. 5 in geriatrics by U.S.News & World Report (2012-13), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2011, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. HSS is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.
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