Phoebe not connected to fungal meningitis outbreak

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

ALBANY, Ga. -- While Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has received drugs from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, none of those drugs has been connected to the national fungal meningitis outbreak, officials say.

A list from the Food and Drug Administration updated Tuesday shows a listing of the facilities that have received products from the compound as well as the products they received. Medical professionals at those facilities have been advised to withhold and follow up patients who received an injectable product from the compound on or after May 21.

The list does show that Phoebe received three drugs from NECC -- hyaluronidase, hydroxyprogesterone capote and sulphan blue -- which were shipped out between May 22 and Aug. 21.

The drug the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed to be connected to the outbreak is preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate.

"What is clear is that this compound has 1,200 products. We have used three," said Dr. Doug Patten, senior vice president of medical affairs at Phoebe. "None of these three have been (connected to) the outbreak.

"There have been 100 or so facilities in Georgia that have received something from this compound."

Patten also said the patients who received the three drugs have been identified and that the physicians who treated them have been notified.

"So far, none of the physicians have noted any problems with the patients," Patten said Wednesday afternoon. "We have no evidence at this point (to suggest) that they (the patients) have anything to be afraid of.

"There is no reason to think the patients have a risk of developing an infection (in connection with the drugs)."

Patten added that the impacted patients are being notified in writing, and that an infectious disease specialist at Phoebe -- Dr. Carlos Franco -- has been in contact with the CDC relative to what the hospital should be doing.

"We are prepared if something should happen," Patten said.

At Phoebe, officials say connections between patients and the drugs they are given can be established by scanning barcodes on the patient's bracelet as well as on the drug.

"We have a way to backtrack or give them (patients) a heads up," Patten said.

To date, there has been one Georgia facility identified by the CDC to have received the drug in question from NECC: Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center in Macon. Officials from the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday that the state has had its first case of fungal meningitis related to the outbreak.

The patient, a 66-year-old woman who lives in Bibb County, was said Tuesday to be clinically stable, not hospitalized and under the care of an infectious disease physician. She was among those who reported symptoms after receiving an injection of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate for back pain at the Macon hospital.

Those seeking more information on the outbreak are encouraged to visit the FDA and CDC websites.


Fletch 3 years, 1 month ago

... However, Phoebe does suffer from an epidemic of entitlements! ...


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