Wartburg woman describes fungal meningitis scare

5:23 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
Faydra England is a patient of PCA Pain Care Center in Oak Ridge.
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Patients of an Oak Ridge pain center are being tested for fungal meningitis.

"They give spinal taps and draw spinal fluid.  The first test I had was on October 3.  It came back that I had seven white blood cells," said patient Faydra England of Wartburg.

England goes to PCA Pain Care center in Oak Ridge. Health officials said the clinic is one of three facilities that received vials of the recalled steroid epidural in Tennessee.

The compounded medicine has been connected to the national meningitis outbreak.

England says she got sick.  It turns out, she had the flu and not fungal meningitis. When she returned to PCA for another test Wednesday, she had zero white blood cells.

"He [doctor] was just like me.  He praised the Lord.  He gave me a hug and we were all thrilled," England said.

Doctor Donald Jones at PCA-Oak Ridge said his office received 300 lots of the epidural steroid in question.  158 vials were given to patients.  89 lots were sent back to the compounding company.

Dr. Jones said no PCA-Oak Ridge patients have received meningitis.  He will no longer use compounded medicines.  The doctor will also stop giving steroid epidurals until receiving further guidance from health officials.

"We have identified all of our patients who may have been injected with the steroid.  Each potentially-affected patient had been contacted by phone and has been sent an explanatory letter.  Those that have reported any symptoms of meningitis have been tested and do not have meningitis," Dr. Jones explained in a prepared statement.

A clinic in Crossville and Nashville also received the questioned medicine, according to health officials.

Tennessee has been the most impacted state.  44 cases of fungal meningitis have been recorded in Tennessee during the outbreak.  Six people have died state-wide.

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