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For Immediate Release:
October 24, 2012

Southcoast Health System updates patients on New England Compounding Center recall

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast™ Health System would like to proactively assure our patients that we have not purchased any steroid medications from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) — the medications found to have caused an outbreak of fungal meningitis throughout the country.

Southcoast had purchased other products from NECC and has discontinued the use of these products as both a precaution and per the advisement of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

The products purchased include intrathecal injections, cardioplegic solution and vancomycin injections. An intrathecal injection is a medication administered for pain management, cardioplegic solution is used during open heart surgery and the vancomycin injections are used in cataract surgery. Again, none of these medications are the steroid medication found to have caused an outbreak of fungal meningitis and Southcoast has identified alternative sources for the medications previously purchased.

Southcoast is taking this recommendation very seriously and, out of an abundance of caution as recommended by the FDA, is reaching out to all patients who received an intrathecal injection, cardioplegic solution or a vancomycin injection that was compounded by NECC since May 21, 2012. Patients who have questions should contact their health care providers.

If patients who have received any of the medications have any of the following symptoms, they should seek medical care: fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, dizziness, and confusion. CDC is not recommending any treatment for patients who have been exposed to NECC produced medications and have no symptoms of illness at this time. More information is available at the following CDC website:

Southcoast will provide updates as information becomes available from health officials.

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Stephanie Poyant
Public Information Officer
Phone: 508-961-5280
Pager: 508-387-2532
Fax: 508-961-5876

Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island.

It includes the three hospitals that make up Southcoast Hospitals Group — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty and heart rhythm services, comprehensive cancer care, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedic surgery, advanced imaging services and is the only provider of maternity services in the region.

Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of the community to provide services. More information is available online at Connect to Southcoast through social media at

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