9OYS Health Watch
Meningitis Outbreak: Who should be concerned?
Reporter: Corinne Hautala
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The nationwide meningitis scare has patients downright frightened.
Matthew Holland, a Tucson pain management doctor, told 9 On Your Side that his office is getting call after call from patients. He's even getting panicked patients calling his personal phone at 3 o'clock in the morning.
But who should be really worried?
"Patients who have received epidural injections in Arizona should not be concerned," Holland said.
A common procedure at the Center for Pain Management in Tucson is a spinal epidural -- the same procedure linked to the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, patients in 23 states may be effected, but Arizona is in the clear since no health official in the state received the contaminated injections.
However, due to the large amount of snow birds, Arizona medical professionals like Holland may very well have infected patients.
"We do of course have concerns about patients who may have had injections in other parts of the country and then come to Arizona for our beautiful winter weather," Holland said.
Holland advised patients to ask questions of their health care providers like:
-- Is the drug coming from a reputable pharmaceutical company?
-- Is the drug fda approved?
-- Is the person doing the procedure trained and certified?
"This is the kind of thing that keeps me in bed at night starring at the ceiling and worrying," Holland said. "We always worry about infections with any type of procedure."