The FDA is advising doctors to stop using ALL NECC products after at least one patient tested positive for fungal meningitis following a transplant surgery in which the patient received a cardioplegic solution made by the New England Compounding Center (NECC).
Cardioplegic solution is not a steroid injection. It is used to induce cardiac muscle paralysis during open heart surgery to prevent injury to the heart.
Also at least one patient with possible meningitis potentially associated with epidural injection of an additional NECC product, triamcinolone acetonide, has been identified. Triamcinolone acetonide is a type of injectable steroid made by NECC. The previous cases of meningitis have been associated with methylprednisolone acetate, a similar injectable steroid product.
As a precautionary measure, the FDA is advising healthcare professionals to stop using any injectable product made by NECC, and to notify patients who have received any injectable product made by NECC during any healthcare procedure.
“At this point in FDA’s investigation, the sterility of any injectable drugs, including ophthalmic drugs that are injectable or used in conjunction with eye surgery, and cardioplegic solutions produced by NECC are of significant concern, and out of an abundance of caution, patients who received these products should be alerted to the potential risk of infection.”
Fungal Meningitis Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and altered mental status. Symptoms for other possible infections may include fever; swelling, increasing pain, redness, warmth at injection site; visual changes, pain, redness or discharge from the eye; chest pain, or drainage from the surgical site (infection within the chest).