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Redwood Area Hospital patients notified as precaution in contaminated drug alert

The same day surgery department at Redwood Area Hospital has notified 22 surgical patients as a precautionary measure after receiving eye drops with a drug from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that has been tied to a fungal meningitis outbreak.

Redwood Area Hospital received an eye drug from the compounding center and has contacted all patients who received two drops of the drug prior to cataract surgery between May and October of this year. None of the patients have become sick and the hospital is working closely with them to monitor for any signs of infection.

“This is simply a precautionary measure recommended by the FDA to notify affected patients and  to encourage them to seek medical care if they are experiencing any signs of infection,” said Julie Fiala, Redwood Area Hospital infection prevention coordinator. “We are committed to the safety of and well-being of our patients and want to ease any concerns presented by patients and their families.”

Redwood Area Hospital is among 129 facilities in Minnesota that received drugs from the New England Compounding Center. The initial alert at the beginning of October involved a steroid injection for back pain. As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration widened its concern this week to all injectable drugs or drugs used in conjunction with eye surgery supplied or prepared by the compounding center since late May.

The hospital has never purchased any injectable medications from NECC and proactively stopped use of NECC eye drugs during the initial meningitis outbreak.

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