Patients of the Mercy Medical system have received tissue of questionable origins through one of the system’s major tissue suppliers: Medtronic.
No disease screening was done of the tissue, obtained illegally from cadavers without family permission or knowledge. Hospitals across the nation have used Medtronic as a tissue supplier.
Locally, those who had surgery for transplant of the tissue are offered one-time testing for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and syphilis.
“It’s horrifying,” said one North Iowa woman, who was contacted by Mercy last week. She spoke to the Globe Gazette on the condition of anonymity. “It’s like something from a Stephen King novel.”
The owner of Biomedical Tissue Services, located in Fort Lee, N.J., and three others have been indicted on charges they illegally harvested skin and bone from cadavers in New York funeral homes and sold the parts…
The woman said she did not blame Mercy for acquisition of the potentially bad tissue, but “I do question the delay” in notification, she said. She said the industry was aware of the issue last year and the Food and Drug Administration alerted all hospitals at the beginning of the month.
Your local radio station’s morning show is going to have a field day with this. The scary thing is, tissue scandals are relatively common. Every couple of years either a university or a supplier gets in major trouble for breaking the rules. A fundamental problem is trying to find trustworthy, normal people who are willing to ‘process’ cadaver tissue all day.
Indeed, the scandal is widening, with the news today that a Nebraska man has filed suit against Biomedical Tissue Services, claiming they gave him Hepatitis C.
More from the Globe Gazette in Iowa, and the NY Post…