LewisGale Medical Center notified 45 of its cardiac patients last week that they had received a drug from the Massachusetts specialty pharmacy at the center of the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.
All the patients received a “cardioplegia solution” during heart surgery that had been made by New England Compounding Center, said LewisGale spokeswoman Nancy May in an email.
“While these medications have not currently been confirmed as causing infections and authorities believe the risk is very low, we have notified these patients out of an abundance of caution as advised by U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” May said.
May said patients were contacted by mail and phone.
The move comes after health investigators said last week that more people may be at risk for infections beyond those who received spine injections for pain. The FDA said products from New England Compounding may have caused other infections in patients who had eye operations or open-heart surgery. The warning was based in part on two heart transplant patients who got fungal infections, but it is unknown if the company’s medication caused the infections, according to the Associated Press.