Mexico: Contaminated morphine use in hospital causes meningitis outbreak, kills 35
The doctor, whose identity was concealed, allegedly transported his own morphine from one private hospital to another, contaminating the drug at the first clinic with a fungal infection, according to officials
Mexico: As many as three people including an anaesthesiologist was arrested for allegedly causing a meningitis outbreak that has killed as many as 35 while 79 others are hospitalised.
The head prosecutor in the northern state of Durango, Sonia de la Garza, claimed the anaesthesiologist used tainted morphine. The accusations against him are not yet known.
De la Garza claimed that the doctor primarily administered spinal blocks to pregnant women using “improper methods.”
The doctor, whose identity was concealed, allegedly transported his own morphine from one private hospital to another, contaminating the drug at the first clinic with a fungal infection, according to officials.
It’s possible the medication wasn’t stored correctly. Some smaller hospitals or maternity clinics in Mexico don’t have their own dispensing pharmacies or are not authorized to handle controlled medications like opiates, and thus rely on anesthesiologists to bring their own.
De la Garza the morphine was in “multi-use” vials that would be used on more than one patient. She said tests had ruled out the possibility that it might have been contaminated at the point of manufacture.
Authorities also arrested the head of the state health inspection service and one of his employees.
They face charges of failing to carry out their duties and homicide. The director was found not qualified to hold the post, and the employee allegedly falsified an inspection report on one of the four private hospitals, failing to report improper handling or storage of medicines.
It was the latest scandal for Mexico’s woefully under-equipped health care system, which has also had recurring difficulties in supplying medications for children with cancer.
In 2020, 14 people died after a hospital run by Mexico’s state-owned oil company gave a drug to dialysis patients that was contaminated with bacteria. More than 69 patients were sickened in that outbreak.
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