CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Eighteen West Virginia hospitals, doctor's offices and clinics received drugs from a pharmaceutical manufacturer linked to a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
Only one of those facilities, Pars Interventional Pain in Parkersburg, received the steroid shots linked to the meningitis outbreak that has killed 25 people in 18 states.
The rest received other products compounded at New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., including eye drops and numbing gels. Even though those products are not linked to the meningitis outbreak, the FDA advised pharmacists and doctors early last month to pull the products from their shelves and notify affected patients.
Charleston Surgical Hospital and Charleston Area Medical Center's Teays Valley Hospital in Hurricane are included on that list.
Jenny Adams, Charleston Surgical Hospital's director of nursing, said her facility received eye drops from NECC.
Charleston Surgical Hospital staff has contacted about 800 patients who may have received the eye drops, which were used to dilate patients' eyes before cataract surgery, Adams said.
She said the hospital began contacting patients on Oct. 4. All of the patients have since had follow-up appointments with their doctors, and none has shown signs of infection.
Adams said the hospital also pulled its stock of eye drops as soon as staff there heard about the other problems at NECC and is now in the process of sending the drugs back to the manufacturer.
"We pulled our stock when we got the alert about the injectible medications. We pulled it even before the FDA suggested we do so," she said.
CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said Teays Valley Hospital received only topical gels and inhalant drugs from NECC. Neither of those drugs is linked to the meningitis outbreak.
Witte said the hospital is not contacting patients, per the FDA's advice.
"According to the FDA website, the FDA does not urge patient follow-up at this time for NECC products of lower risk such as the medications (CAMC Teays Valley Hospital) received," Witte said.