NH Meningitis Cases are NOT Confirmed

The media in New England continues to report erroneously on the steroid meningitis outbreak. NH does NOT have 11 confirmed cases of meningitis related to the tainted steroid product from NECC. The cases are “probable” not “confirmed.” Also, there are not 11 probable cases of meningitis, there are 8, and the other 3 are joint infections. No fungus has been cultured or seen under a microscope from fluids of any patients exposed to the presumably tainted steroid product.

Below is a cut and paste from the most current CDC definition of “cases.” Again, there are no confirmed cases of either meningitis or joint infection in NH. The misleading reporting is causing undue concern.

Dr. Michael J. O’Connell

October 24, 2012 6:30 PM EDT

Probable Case

A person who received a preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) injection, with preservative-free MPA that definitely or likely came from one of the following three lots produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) [05212012@68, 06292012@26, 08102012@51], and subsequently developed any of the following:

  • Meningitis1 of unknown etiology following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012;
  • Posterior circulation stroke without a cardioembolic source and without documentation of a normal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profile, following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012;3
  • Osteomyelitis, abscess or other infection (e.g., soft tissue infection) of unknown etiology, in the spinal or paraspinal structures at or near the site of injection following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012; or
  • Osteomyelitis or worsening inflammatory arthritis of a peripheral joint (e.g., knee, shoulder, or ankle) of unknown etiology diagnosed following joint injection after May 21, 2012.

1 Clinically diagnosed meningitis with one or more of the following symptoms: headache, fever, stiff neck, or photophobia, in addition to a CSF profile showing pleocytosis (>5 white blood cells, adjusting for presence of red blood cells by subtracting 1 white blood cell for every 500 red blood cells present) regardless of glucose or protein levels.

2 Paraspinal injections include, but are not limited to, spinal facet joint injection, sacroiliac joint injection, or spinal or paraspinal nerve root/ganglion block.

3 Patients in this category who do not have any documented CSF results should have a lumbar puncture performed if possible, using a different site than was used for the epidural injection when possible.

Confirmed Case

A probable case with evidence (by culture, histopathology, or molecular assay) of a fungal pathogen associated with the clinical syndrome outbreak in New Hampshire

 

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see: https://michaeloconnellmdnh.wordpress.com/

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