“It is like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to make sure that long term, if I got sick and was unable to work, someone should be held responsible. If a company is putting out a product that is injected into a human, they should be held accountable, financially and emotionally.
The meningitis outbreak is still ongoing. As of December 18, 2012, a total of 620 cases, which includes 39 deaths, have been reported in 19 states and the CDC issued an update to the multistate outbreak of fungal infections on December 20, 2012.
Even though it is highly unlikely that Tim has fungal meningitis, the fact that this investigation is ongoing is bad news for him.
Tim received two injections of the contaminated steroid--one in each hip--in August 2011. “I had severe pain after my back surgery and I was scheduled to receive another round of injections to relieve the pain,” says Tim, “but my doctor refused to give me any more spinal injections. He explained that I might have to wait up to a year to find out whether or not these contaminated injections have gone dormant in my body before they will do any more back injections to relieve the pain I am in. Meantime I sit hear waiting for who knows how long until they know?"
Tim is taking Vicodin but he says it barely skims the surface of his pain. Luckily he has a desk job, but this meningitis outbreak has totally affected his life. “I live in continual pain, day in and day out because I can’t get any more back injections,” he says. “I have five kids. My daughter is getting married in a few months but I can’t fly to the wedding and I can’t get in a car for more than a few hours. This has affected not only my life, but my family too."
Tim doesn’t hold his doctor responsible because he purchased the contaminated steroid thinking it was a safe product. “Dr. Jackson’s office called me in September when they found out that I had received two contaminated shots,” he adds. “By that time I already knew about the--supposedly--rare meningitis outbreak from the news. There were only three clinics in Michigan that had received the steroids and Michigan Neurological in Grand Blanc Michigan was one. It didn’t take a detective to figure that out.
READ MORE RARE MENINGITIS OUTBREAK LEGAL NEWS
Since October 2012, the CDC website has advised clinicians to closely monitor and evaluate patients who received injections of contaminated MPA from the New England Compounding Center. It also recommends that “clinicians should consider obtaining an MRI with contrast of the injection site in patients with persistent but baseline symptoms because the presentation of these spinal or paraspinal infections can be subtle and difficult to distinguish from a patient’s baseline chronic pain.”
The CDC has received 80 more cases (reported between December 3-17), most of which are spinal/paraspinal infections.