Local woman at risk for fungal infection after steroid shot

Posted at: 10/24/2012 5:57 PM
Updated at: 10/24/2012 6:28 PM
By: WNYT Staff

ALBANY - A local woman says she got a steroid shot made in the Massachusetts pharmacy responsible for tainted medicine that's killed 23 people, nationwide.

While the investigation into the facility continues, Justine Caldes of Albany waits and worries.

Justine Caldes is a spry 77-year-old. That's what got the Albany woman into trouble last Christmas when she fell hanging Christmas decorations, fracturing her spine. Continued pain led to get a steroid shot on September 17 at Northeast Orthopedics. While the shot did not relieve her pain, it brought another worry.

“And then I got this letter in the mail which said that I wasn't at risk for the meningits but I was at risk for some kind of fungal infection,” she said.

It turns out the medication she was given came from the compounding pharmacy in Massachuttes, NECC, the produced contained medications linked to 23 deaths from fungal meningitis. Another 308 people have been sickened across 7 states.

“I don't know if I got some fungus in my spine. And it is scary. And I am very angry,” said Caldes.

Justine says she'll be alert to any symptoms including fever, pain or swelling at the injection site . She contacted an attorney, Paul Harding from the law firm of Martin, Harding and Mazzoti.

He says 7 other local families have been in touch with him.

Northeast Orthopedics isn't the only local medical practice that got product from NECC ..  others include Albany Regional Eye Surgical Center and Glens Falls Hospital which has sent letters to 677 patients.

So Justine has a lot of company wondering, how NECC could have been in business as it becomes more evident it had been under investigation for some time.