CDC: Mount Pleasant clinic may have received Meningitis contaminated shots

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Centers for Disease Control has released the name of the clinics that received a batch of steroid shots that may contain a rare strain of fungal Meningitis, and one of those clinics is in Mount Pleasant.

Intervene M.D. in Mount Pleasant is on that list.

Intervene MD has released the following statement:

We want to address the outbreak of fungal meningitis which you may have heard about and is in the national news. Tragically, cases of a rare form of meningitis have been implicated nationwide in the illnesses of 35 people and in the deaths of five people who have received epidural pain relief injections to help them manage back pain.

We, as do all doctors, rely on the safe production and sterility of the medications used in our treatments. This is a very rare and unusual situation.

Unfortunately, our practice was one of those provided medications from the manufacturer. We were notified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Friday, September 21st that we had received suspect medicines from lots produced between July 31 and September 16. We immediately removed all vials of the medication from use and returned them to the manufacturer.

Because we are concerned, we have made every effort to determine each and every patient who may have received epidural treatment with this medication. We have personally spoken with almost all of the 189 people affected. We continue to call and work to get in touch with each person who received this medication by epidural injection. There are a few patients we've not been able to reach by telephone, despite multiple attempts, and we are sending follow-up letters that detail signs and symptoms to watch for until the possibility of illness passes. Each person has been asked to seek immediate emergency treatment if they have any symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this illness takes from one week to one month following exposure to develop.

It is a relief that none our patients are showing any signs or symptoms of meningitis. Two -- at our urging -- have gone to the emergency room for further examination. Tests determined that they do not have meningitis.

We have been and continue to be available to speak with our patients. We invite them to phone us with any questions, issues or anxiety. We are providing medical counseling and following all CDC recommendations.

We urge anyone who has recently had epidural treatment for back pain to contact their doctor. If you are our patient and have questions, we want you to call us.

Epidural steroid injections for the management of pain have been used for many years and have relieved pain in thousands. This treatment has allowed many individuals to experience an improved quality of life and be more productive.

We have been safely providing effective relief from back pain for patients with problems using treatment with epidural injection for 35 (collective) years.

InterveneMD comprised of Todd P. Joye, M.D. and Jeffrey W. Folk, M.D. is pleased to provide patient services in Mt. Pleasant in the Neuroscience Building at 1341 Old Georgetown Road and in North Charleston at 9231 Medical Plaza Drive.

For more information on the services offered by InterveneMD, please visit their website at: or call 843.216.4844.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control released this statement:

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has been in communication with the only healthcare facility in the state that received methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) and can confirm that lots under investigation have been sequestered and are no longer being used.

The physicians at the facility have been diligently contacting patients who received spinal injections since July 1, 2012, to assess their health status and assist in additional referrals as necessary. It is our understanding that 177 of the 189 patients who could have been exposed have been contacted.

All the cases identified nationwide at this time have been among people who had the methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) as a steroidal injection for lower back pain. If you have not been contacted by the doctor at the facility where you received your injections, you are not part of the risk group as we know it at this time.

If information comes to our attention regarding additional products or medications that could be of concern, we will inform the healthcare community and the public.


ABC News 4 will have more on this story as it develops.