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Friday, October 5, 2012 - MEDIA STATEMENT: Medication Recall / Meningitis from Injection Investigation

As the leading healthcare provider in the region, South Jersey Healthcare is very concerned with the well-being of our community, especially in light of the recent recall of an injectable steroid medication manufactured by the New England Compounding Center. Upon learning of the voluntary recall on September 25, we immediately pulled the product from our pharmacies, and have continued to follow the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Health and the CDC.
As of noon today, we have made calls to every patient who received the injections. Anyone in the community, who has received an epidural steroid injection, between July 30 and September 25, at SJH Elmer Hospital or SJH Regional Medical Center and has not yet been reached by the health system, should call one of the special numbers that has been set up for this purpose. The numbers are (856) 641-6010 and (856) 641-6011.

We have also set up a special clinic in our Regional Medical Center in Vineland with our head of Infectious Disease for anyone who has received the injections at an SJH facility and believes they may be experiencing symptoms of meningitis. It was open today from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and there will be additional hours on Saturday and Sunday. Call the special number for more information.

A total of 124 patients received the steroid, 70 by epidural injection. It is this group that has the potential to contract fungal meningitis. The New Jersey Department of Health reported there have been no cases in the state. Fungal meningitis is diagnosed by culturing spinal fluid obtained through a spinal tap. Conclusive results can take up to two weeks.

Symptoms can include fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and new neurological deficit (consistent with deep brain stroke). Anyone experiencing worsening or severe symptoms should contact their physician or go to the emergency department.
SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of southern New Jersey residents.