We had a chance to talk with Dr. Wendell Hoffman, the patient safety officer with Sanford Health’s Sioux Falls region, which includes all of the Sanford hospitals in northwest Iowa, including Sanford Sheldon. We asked him first, for a little background on the situation from a medical perspective.
He says the tainted steroid was tracked back to the New England Compounding Center, or NEC. He says the latest count showed over 300 patients in 17 states had been affected. He says 23 people have died from the infection. But, he says the meningitis is NOT contagious in this case, and only people who received the tainted steroid in an injection in the spine are getting sick. Furthermore, he says the closest that people were affected in this area is people who got injections in the Twin Cities. He says some people got the injection in their joints, and those people developed arthritis from the tainted steroid.
Hoffman says the Sanford network, however does not use inject-able steroid from the affected source.
In fact, Hoffman says that he hasn’t heard of any cases in any hospitals — Sanford or not — in Sanford’s region.
Dr. Hoffman says they are doing their due diligence, and tracking product and cases of infection, but so far they have seen none related to this issue.