2013-10-22 - NECC Fungal Meningitis

The Tennessean reports that New England Compounding Center (NECC), the compounding pharmacy responsible for manufacturing fungus-tainted steroids, is being held responsible for the deaths of two Nevada children who were administered a different NECC drug during open heart surgery.

Ari Gomez, who had just turned 4 years old, and 6-year-old Zacharie Rood-Sucharzewski were administered NECC’s cardioplegia solution, a heart medication, during open heart surgery at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas.  Both boys spent over a month in critical condition before passing away.  Their parents would not learn about the drug recall until several weeks after their deaths.

The parents of the two children have sued NECC, whose medications were recalled after federal investigators found widespread fungal and bacterial contamination in the drug compounder’s facilities.  The lawsuit also charges Sunrise Hospital and its pharmacist with negligence in purchasing drugs from NECC, which had a long history of regulatory troubles. NECC’s sister company (Ameridose) and the company that performed sterility tests on NECC drugs are also named in the lawsuit. In addition to negligence, the suits also charge violations of Nevada products liability laws.

Hundreds of lawsuits are now pending against NECC, after federal and local inspections revealed that their medications were contaminated by materials causing fungal meningitis, fungal or bacterial infection, and other related illnesses. FDA and CDC product samples from recalled lots of NECC’s methylprednisolone acetate (MPA), betamethasone, cardioplegia, and triamcinolone revealed laboratory-confirmed bacterial and fungal organisms.

Judge Henry J. Boroff, the bankruptcy judge presiding over NECC’s Chapter 11 case, recently set the deadline for filing bankruptcy claims against NECC for Monday, January 15, 2014. Unfortunately, many people who received contaminated NECC injections or medications continue to suffer from serious symptoms but have not been diagnosed with a fungal or bacterial infection.

Because of the time-sensitive nature of the NECC Bankruptcy Claims Process, we encourage patients and loved ones who have been affected by tainted NECC steroid injections or other contaminated NECC medication to contact us for a free case evaluation at www.andrewsthornton.com or toll free at 1-800-644-1734.

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