New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Co.

Fatal meningitis outbreak caused by lead pharmacy professional

Receiving medical treatment is a luxury of the modern world and one that has saved millions of lives in New Mexico. However, lack of attention, compassion or adherence to general protocols by any health care professional can prove detrimental and even deadly to recipients.

This is what happened when the head of a pharmacy compounding establishment allegedly disregarded critical sterilization regulations in favor of mass production. According to the prosecutor, his actions resulted in the contamination of a large number of medical steroid injections which were given to patients across the U.S. Over 60 people wrongfully died and hundreds more experienced unavoidable sickness. Upon careful investigation, it was discovered that conditions in the compounding facility were sub-par. Findings such as standing water, surface bacteria and mold were present along with the use of ingredients that were expired.

Reports showed that standardized logs were fabricated to suggest the areas were thoroughly disinfected when they were not. The head of the pharmacy was accused of marginalizing patient safety in favor of higher production numbers. After being hit with hundreds of lawsuits, the pharmaceutical company had to file for bankruptcy. Soon after, $200 million in compensation was paid out to victims and their families after a settlement was reached. The tainted steroid injections were given primarily to patients experiencing back pain and resulted in a mass outbreak of both fungal meningitis and a host of other infections.

When people have been wrongfully hurt or have loved ones who are the tragic victims of medical malpractice, they can benefit from professional help. With assistance from an experienced attorney, they can receive knowledgeable guidance and focus their energy on recovery and healing.

Source: KRQE News 13, “Pharmacy head to be sentenced in deadly meningitis outbreak,” June 26, 2017

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