Each year more than one million Americans receive a human tissue transplant. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has outlined specific procedures for selecting safe tissue donors and cleaning donated tissue, two prominent companies – Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) and CryoLife – have come under heavy public scrutiny and criticism for violating FDA rules. BTS and Cryolif were forging donor consent forms and death certificates to make a potential cadaver donor seem young enough to donate tissue or to cover up any diseases the donor may have had.
In fact, from 2002 through 2005, BTS harvested more than 13,000 specimens of tainted donor tissues, and approximately 8,000 of these were implanted in patients. By 2004, many transplant patients were beginning to report serious health complications, prompting the FDA to issue a nationwide recall of all unused BTS tissue. In 2006, the FDA forced BTS to close its doors due to findings that the founders of BTS were criminally negligent in their methods of collecting and distributing potentially diseased transplant tissue.
Contaminated Tissue Transplant Scandal
Given that more than 50 percent of the tissue transplants between 2002 through 2005 were from either BTS or CryoLife, there is a distinct possibility that those who underwent any of the following procedures during this period may have received diseased donor tissues:
- ankle procedures
- back surgery
- dental or corneal implants
- heart valve replacements
- knee, hip, or joint replacements
- skin grafts
Should a patient receive contaminated tissues during any of the above procedures, (s)he is at a high risk of developing AIDS, HIV, hepatitis, or syphilis.
Compensation Following the Tissue Transplant Scandal
If you suspect that you developed serious health problems as a result of receiving a tainted tissue transplant, you will likely be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, permanent disabilities, pain, and suffering. Skilled victims’ rights attorneys encourage you to attend a free, no obligations initial consultation to learn more about your legal rights and receive a thorough evaluation of your case.
If you or a loved one received bone or tissue from BTS or Cryolife and contracted HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, or syphilis you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation and we can help.