Michigan Widower Finds Himself at Risk for Meningitis - News - @ JEMS.com


Michigan Widower Finds Himself at Risk for Meningitis

Wife’s death linked to tainted steroid injections

 

 
 
 

ED WHITE, Associated Press | | Tuesday, October 9, 2012


DETROIT (AP) — Days after taking his wife off life support, George Cary got a phone call that confirmed his suspicions: Her meningitis-related death was linked to tainted steroid injections at a Michigan clinic that had regularly treated her back pain.

The doctor on the call had more tough news. Cary's own back injections in September may have come from a contaminated batch too.

Cary went to an emergency room last weekend for a spinal tap. The test results aren't in yet, so he is left to wait and say goodbye to his wife, 67-year-old Lilian Cary, at a memorial service Tuesday.

"They advised me to watch for symptoms," Cary, 65, told The Associated Press from a funeral home in Howell, 60 miles northwest of Detroit. "At this point, there's nothing abnormal, but they said the same thing when Lilian had hers. ... Not only have I lost my wife, but I'm watching the clock to see if anything develops."

Michigan has at least 21 cases of meningitis related to steroid shots made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. Those cases include the deaths of Lilian Cary and a 56-year-old woman whose identity and hometown haven't been released by public health officials.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and a back injection would put any contaminant in more direct contact with that lining. Separately, a Michigan resident developed a nonmeningitis fungal infection after being injected in a joint, not the back, the state Department of Community Health reported.

Lilian Cary died Sept. 30. She had been ill since late August, but meningitis wasn't detected until Sept. 22, her husband said.

Nonetheless, her health seemed to be improving at University of Michigan hospital.

"She was responding to medication. Her spirits were up. Her fever was broken," George Cary said. "She was walking the hallway and Skyping with grandsons."

But she became unresponsive Sept. 26, and eventually was removed from life support after suffering a stroke, he said.

Cary said he was informed Saturday that his wife had been treated with tainted steroids for back pain. The doctor at Michigan Pain Specialists in Brighton, one of four Michigan clinics to get shipments from the Massachusetts pharmacy, said Cary also was at risk.

"The whole staff is devastated," said Cary, who declined to disclose the doctor's name. "The people there are professionals. I have the greatest respect for their care. They truly care about the people they treat. They're suffering just as much as I am."

No one could be reached for comment Monday at Michigan Pain Specialists. The phone number was repeatedly busy.

Lilian Cary was a native of Stoke-on-Trent, England, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1965 to work as a nanny. The Carys met in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and were married in 1977. They moved to Michigan in 2000 after many years in the St. Louis area and have lived in Howell since 2003.

Lilian Cary liked to play bunco, a dice game, and belonged to a club that welcomed transplants like herself to Livingston County.

"I've lost my best friend," George Cary said.

___

Follow Ed White on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/edwhiteap

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, meningitis

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >