New Jersey knee pain clinic closes after improperly handled injections lead to infection

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Toni Yates has the story

Health officials say a medical facility that voluntarily closed after at least 30 patients developed infections was not handling injections properly.

Monmouth County Health Officer David Henry said the Osteo Relief Institute in Wall Township closed March 7 after patients contracted various bacterial infections from injections to their knees.

Henry said state and local investigators went into the clinic Monday and found several breaches of injection control. Among them were employees not washing their hands thoroughly and letting full needles sit "well before" they were used on patients.

The facility focused on treating patients who suffered from knee pain.

"I've had two operations, wound up with a septic infection," patient Vincent Beaver said. "I had no idea who I was, where I was."

Beaver said he was set for a series of five injections to help relieve arthritis pain.

"When I went for the 3rd shot, the doctor hit something in my knee," he said. "The pain was horrible. I jumped, and I haven't been able to walk since."

From October 29 to December 2, he was in and out of hospitals.

"I had two operations to clean the infection, IV of antibiotics for 30 days, rehab for weeks," he said.

Now, he's still in a wheelchair or using a walker, and he had to move to a new apartment that would accommodate the new equipment.

The New Jersey Department of Health said 31 cases of knee infections have come up so far in its investigation, and that the practice sent letters notifying patients of the problems.

Aimee Cannon, 79, had her son drive her to Wall from Staten Island for an appointment, not knowing that the office voluntarily closed its doors.

"If they're shut down, they should at least notify people," son Ed Cannon said.

Aimee Cannon has it rough after her injection.

"The knee swelled up, and the pain was unbearable," she said.

"It got infected," Ed Cannon added. "They gave her antibiotics, but she's still having problems."

Beaver said he has contacted an attorney.

The Monmouth County Regional Health Commission is asking anyone with questions to contact the Hotline at 866-448-2432. Physicians who have patients who had infected knees from the facility are urged to call 609-826-5964.
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