Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Update - Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has not purchased, nor have we used, any of the products known to be contaminated  that are tied to the meningitis outbreak from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) pharmacy.

Children’s has stocked five other products from NECC, since May 21, 2012, which carry no known risk. Regardless, and as a precaution, all five products were promptly pulled from our inventory early in this outbreak and replaced with alternative drugs.

As always, the care and well-being of our patients and families is our highest priority. We continue to actively monitor this situation closely working together with the Minnesota Department of Health, our Infection Prevention specialists and our pharmacy. To date, Children's has no patients who are known to be affected by this outbreak.

For more information, we recommend the following links:
CDC Meningitis Home Page: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html
CDC Patient FAQ: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html
CDC Provider FAQ: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/clinicians/index.html

Minnesota Department of Health Meningitis Home Page: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/meningitis/fungal/index.html
Minnesota Department of Health Basics for Patients: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/meningitis/fungal/basics.html
Minnesota Department of Health Guidance for Health Professionals: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/meningitis/fungal/hcp.html

FDA Questions and Answers: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm322735.htm


 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak FAQ

Q:        I read in the paper that Children's was one of the hospitals who received drugs from the pharmacy that had products that were contaminated with fungus.  My child goes to Children's.  Should I be worried?  What do I need to do? 

A:        Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has not purchased, nor have we used, any of the products known to be contaminated in the meningitis outbreak tied to the New England Compounding Center (NECC) pharmacy. As a result, no Children's patient has received any contaminated medication.

Children's has, however, stocked five other drugs that came from the NECC pharmacy. These products are not known to be contaminated and carry no known risk.  As a precaution, Children's proactively pulled these five medications from our shelves even before the FDA recently directed hospitals to do so. 

Q:        Are there any Children's patients involved with this?

A:        We are proactively contacting patient families who received one of these other NECC pharmacy medications. We're doing this to provide peace of mind for our patient families, while sharing all of the information we have on hand. If you do not receive a letter from Children's, you do not need to do anything else.

Moving forward, we will continue to closely monitor the situation with the Minnesota Department of Health, our Infection Prevention specialists and our pharmacy. 

Q:        How do I know a vaccine or medicine I got from Children's is really safe?

A:        Children's is extremely careful with the vaccines and medicines we use.  Our staff is notified right away from the FDA, CDC and Minnesota Department of Health when there has been a problem with a medication or a vaccine and we always respond quickly.

If your concern stems from recent news about the fungal meningitis outbreak, please know that we do not receive any vaccines from the New England Compounding Center. Additionally, Children's no longer carries any medications from NECC.

Q:        How would I know if my child had meningitis or another fungal infection?

A:        Symptoms of meningitis are generally severe and include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, excessive sleepiness and irritable eyes or eyes that are bothered by bright lights.

Symptoms of infection, including fungal infections, include fever, swelling, increasing pain, redness, warmth at injection site, visual changes, redness or discharge, chest pain, or drainage from a surgical site.  Contact your doctor if any of these symptoms occur.

Q:        I have a lot of questions about meningitis and this fungus.  Where can I find out more?

A:        Please visit our website, www.childrensmn.org, and look for the Fungal Meningitis Update box on our home page. There you will find links to the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC websites. Both organizations are monitoring this situation 24/7 and are posting updated information in real-time.