Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Covering your nose when you cough doesn't help in these cases

Since I wrote about the FDA earlier in the week, when I ran across this creepy AP article on recalled body tissue, I had to comment on it.

A brief synopsis: A company called Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) is accused of lifting tissue from corpses without consent. Some of the tissue in question was lifted from people who had communicable diseases, like hepatitis, AIDS and syphilis. Several folks who received transplants of possibly infected tissue have developed the diseases the deceased people may have had.

Yuck, yuck, yuck. First of all, if BTS personnel knowingly grifted people with stolen,infected body parts, I think there is a special place in hell waiting for them. That is one of the weirdest, basest acts I've heard of in a long time. Second, don't the receiving physicians conduct any tests on tissue they receive for transplant before plopping it into patients?

Exactly how do you "recall" tissue that's been implanted in a person? Oh, here you go; here's the tissue you fused to my spine. That's what the US government is doing with the tissue BTS sent out. One of the guys covered in the article received "recall" information from his doctor two years after his implant. He's now a hepatitis patient; he picked up both type B and C.

The CDC is investigating the allegations made toward BTS, however the litigation so far are all civil suits, seeking class-action status.

If you take the time to read the whole article, please let me know if I'm the only one bugged (no pun intended) by the overuse of the word germ. I thought it gave this serious subject a kindergarten whitewash.


At 2:19 PM, Blogger Mark said...

The word "germ" doesn't bother me much. The story sounds like a movie plot. If it's true that BTS didn't verify the health status of the tissue donors, they should roast in hell.

Right now, people have 3 choices for donor tissue in many procedures -- their own tissue (bone, tendon, blood vessel, skin), human donor (live or cadaver) and other species (particularly pig, which is used for heart valve replacement). You can imagine some of the potential problems, especially with tissue from other species. So far, though, they have been rare.


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