More victims of fungal meningitis from allegedly contaminated medication

Doctors report that 24 victims of the recent fungal meningitis infection outbreak have now died. Investigations continue into the cause of the meningitis outbreak that has been blamed on infected pain medicine from one pharmaceutical company. Nearly 300 patients have been diagnosed with the fungus meningitis and many thousands more are at risk after receiving the apparently contaminated medication. At least 23 states, including New York and New Jersey, received shipments of the medication vials in question. The Connecticut-based pharmacy company that produced the allegedly dangerous tainted steroid medication was apparently created and run by a family of pharmacists and an anesthesiologist doctor. Former employees of the pharmacy compounding company say that the people who ran the company would often pressure workers to work hard and fast. Some safety advocates worry that working too fast in the delicate process of making sterile injection medicines can be dangerous. They say it puts patients at risk for infections, ineffective medication and other possible forms of medical malpractice. Speed can also lead to work injury or illness with workers being exposed to chemicals, fumes and machines. A New York based injury lawyer explains that this can leave the pharmaceutical company exposed to medical malpractice lawsuits, workers comp claims and other negligence lawsuits. Officials explain that an inspection of the pharmaceutical company’s production lab revealed several concerns that could have caused contamination of the injectable medication. Some reports have referred to the fungus infection in the vials of medicine as a “black mold” and they say that treatment of infected victims may be difficult. Health officials report that an inspection of the laboratory involved in manufacturing the hazardous medication showed several concerns. These include finding something dark floating in medicine vials, dirty working surroundings and a boiler that was leaking. Any of these could be signs of a mold or fungus growth in the lab. Further testing is ongoing but several personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have already been filed against the drug company. Records show that the anesthesiologist doctor settled a medical malpractice lawsuit in the past after being accused of injuring a patient during a medical procedure. That patient victim became paralyzed and died several years later. Find out the latest about this meningitis infection outbreak and the subsequent legal battle here.

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