Vanderbilt’s April Pettit, instructor in medicine, was the first physician to connect a patient’s fungal meningitis with a tainted steroid injection he received for back pain. The discovery saved countless lives in what became a multistate outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections originating from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. To date, the outbreak has resulted in 733 cases and 53 deaths in 20 states. In November 2012, The New England Journal of Medicine published a detailed account of the discovery written by doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with Pettit serving as lead author.

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