The gruesome tale of stolen body parts, missing persons, contaminated human tissue grafts, and the possibility that thousands of innocent patients are currently in danger of developing everything from HIV/AIDS and syphilis to hepatitis B and C has turned into a scandal of national magnitude that has health officials in numerous states as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) tremendously worried.
On October 12, 2005 Tutogen Medical, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of all materials that were manufactured utilizing BioMedical Tissue Services (BTS) donor tissue. This action is being implemented because Tutogen was unable to satisfactorily verify that BioMedical Tissue Services (BTS) had properly obtained donor eligibility. Tutogen informed transfusion services, physicians and other medical facilities that there is a lack of guarantee that proper donor identification, donor screening, and medical history data collection was carried out and, for that reason, a risk of contagious disease exists.
The untested body parts and tissue scandal centers around Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS), which allegedly acquired body parts without donor permission and sold them for use in transplants performed at hospitals and other medical facilities throughout the United States. The owner and three other employees of Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) have been indicted in Brooklyn, New York for taking body parts without legal consent and without proper screening. It is believed that funeral home operators accepted money from Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) in exchange for ignoring obviously forged death certificates and consent forms. The body parts and tissue in question have been distributed throughout the country and used in thousands of operations.
Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) sold these illegal body parts to several large companies including Lifecell Corp., Regeneration Technologies, Inc., and Lost Mountain Tissue Bank and Blood & Tissue Center of Central Texas. The FDA and most of the companies involved have not disclosed the number of patients that received the untested parts and tissue.
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