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H&W identifies nine Idaho medical facilities that got suspect drugs, includes St. Al’s, St. Luke’s

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare has identified nine Idaho medical facilities that received potentially contaminated injectable drugs from a New England compounding pharmacy, and they include Boise's two biggest hospitals, St. Luke's and St. Al's, along with facilities in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Burley and Coeur d'Alene. None have reported any illnesses among their patients, but they are contacting patients treated with the drugs to ask them to report any symptoms of infection or meningitis. Click below for the full announcement from Health & Welfare.

Nine more Idaho medical facilities may have received contaminated drugs

There are now nine more Idaho medical facilities that may have received contaminated injectable drugs that have been implicated in the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak; earlier, just two had been identified, and one man from eastern Idaho has been diagnosed with the serious disease. Idaho Health & Welfare reports that it's now contacting nine facilities that received certain pharmaceuticals since May of 2012 that were used for joint pain or used in heart or eye surgeries; they came from the same source as the epidural steroids first identified in the outbreak. Click below for Health & Welfare's full report; the agency said it will identify the facilities when it confirms they received and dispensed the drugs.

Eastern Idaho man contracts meningitis from contaminated steroid injection

An eastern Idaho man has been diagnosed with fungal meningitis caused by a steroid injection in September, part of a nationwide outbreak of the serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a batch of contaminated steroids. “We are very concerned for this patient and are working closely with his physicians,” said Idaho State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn. Two Idaho facilities received shipments of the suspect steroids: Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett, and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls. Four people got spinal injections from Walter Knox, while the Idaho Falls pain clinic treated 35 people.

Nationally, 138 people from 11 states have been sickened, with 12 of them dying. State authorities are urging anyone who had a steroid injection from one of the facilities to keep in close touch with medical providers and watch for symptoms; click below for the full announcement from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare.

Stigma Hampers Kids’ Blood Testing

Stigmas associated with “being leaded” discourage parents living in the Bunker Hill Superfund site from getting their children tested for lead exposure, says a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Parents felt “blame, shame and guilt” if their kids had elevated blood-lead levels, the research indicated. They also feared that a child identified as having a high blood-lead level would become a target of public ridicule. “Being leaded” is a derogatory term in the Silver Valley, where some families have worked in the mining industry for five or six generations. Anonymity is difficult in small towns, and kids with high blood-lead levels could be stigmatized, the study said/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

  • Shane Stancik watches his son, 3-year-old Shane Jr., play in front of their Silver Valley home Tuesday. Stancik participated in a study about attitudes toward blood-lead testing. He wants to make regular screening for his son a priority. (SR Photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Do you know Silver Valley people who are ‘leaded’? Can you understand why parents would be reluctant to seek blood tests for their kids as a result of the stigma?