7 Mid-South facilities on meningitis list - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

7 Mid-South facilities on meningitis list

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Seven Mid-South healthcare facilities received suspect material from the New England facility that carried tainted injections connected to the fungal meningitis outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Sixty-eight other facilities in Tennessee were also named to be on the FDA list.

So far, no patients in Tennessee have been identified as having any issues caused by those products.

The seven medical facilities are all located in metro Memphis and Southwest Tennessee: the Center for Dermatology in Memphis; St. Francis Hospital in Bartlett; Baptist Memorial Hospital-Tipton in Covington; Primary Care Specialists-South and Plastic Surgery Clinic of Jackson in Jackson; Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin; and McKenzie Medical Center in McKenzie.

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Dr. Richard Gibbs of Center for Dermatology in Memphis confirmed to FOX13 News that it did, at one point, have meningitis-related products.

The outbreak has been linked to contaminated vials of an injectable steroid used to treat back and joint pain.
Dr. Gibbs doesn't treat either at his business and he wants the public informed.

"There is nothing to fear," he said. "There are no health risks coming to my office."

Dr. Gibbs has been doing business with New England Compounding Center, the company linked to shipping out the bad drugs for years. The products he has purchased from them have been exclusively topical.

Topical and oral medications from the company are not linked to any meningitis outbreaks; only the injectables that are injected near the spine or neck.

"Those people don't have to worry as much as the people who have gotten them near the spine or somewhere near the neck or back," said Dr. Shawn Hayden of Midtown Internal Medicine.

"Topical medications are off the list," Dr. Gibbs added. "They can not be put in that category in any shape form or fashion."
The New England Compounding Center has recalled all its products and shut down operations. Doctors, like Dr. Gibbs, have sent the products they purchased packing.

"Any products that were used topical products have been boxed and given to the health department," Dr. Gibbs said.
With this outbreak originating in Nashville, and now having ties to west Tennessee, it has caused concern.

"My uncle is in the hospital and I have a lot of family that have issues," said one concerned citizen. "I am like, well, can this affect them in some shape or form? It does make me concerned."

"It's very rare this is not something that is widespread it is isolated," said Dr. Hayden, who urges people not to panic. "We need to be cautious, but also take everything with a grain of salt and know this is not an epidemic that is crossing our nation."

Tennesseans wanting to ask questions about the outbreak may contact the Tennessee Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.


FOX13 News reporter Marcus Hunter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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