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Medical News & Perspectives
January 16, 2013

Hospital Faces Uncertainty as It Copes With Surge of Patients With Fungal Meningitis

JAMA. 2013;309(3):219-221. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.187705

In the first week after news broke in early October that contaminated steroid injections from a New England compounding pharmacy were the likely cause of a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis, dozens of patients who had been exposed to potentially contaminated injections at a private pain management practice began presenting each day in the emergency department of a nearby hospital, St Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital in Ypsilanti, Mich.

“In that first week, there was a day our emergency department did more than 60 spinal taps,” said Anurag Malani, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital. “We had this massive influx of [exposed] patients, probably a couple hundred that first week.”