Baptist Health Care using ‘abundance of caution’ with meningitis outbreak

Published 7:07pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Officials with Baptist Health Care are working to calm patients who may be worried about the recent fungal meningitis outbreak stemming from steroid injection medicatio

Baptist Health Care representative Candy McGuyre said patients with the Pensacola-based health care system have nothing to be worried about, as BHC has not administered any of the steroid injections that are to blame for the outbreak at any of its locations.

“The New England Compounding Center produces a broad range of medications,” McGuyre said in a press release. “Three BHC facilities have used other NECC produced medications. These medications have not been associated with the outbreak, but in an abundance of caution, we are following the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to alert all patients who received an NECC medication.

McGuyre said Baptist Hospital use is limited to some heart catheterizations, stress tests and heart surgeries, while Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center use is limited to local anesthesia used in pain management and retina procedures.  She added Atmore Community Hospital use is limited to a small number of stress tests.

McGuyre stressed that none of the locations would have employed the use of the infected injections.

“Baptist Health Care has had no case of fungal meningitis that meets Centers for Disease Control’s case definition for the current outbreak,” McGuyre said. “In fact, we have had no cases of fungal meningitis during the time period in question as defined by the CDC.”

Despite the lack of danger, McGurye said Baptist officials will continue taking measures to inform patients of the situation.

“To ensure our patients are informed and receive follow up care if necessary, we are contacting all patients who received the NECC medications,” she said. “Patient safety and peace of mind are very important to us.”

McGuyre said a hotline has been set up to address questions related to this situation, and anyone with concerns should call Baptist Health Care at 850-437-8500 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Additional information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html

www.escambiahealth.com.

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