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Tuesday, March 14th 2006

No Thank You For The Donation

The number of cadavers who had tissue illegally removed and sold for implantation in the Biomedical Tissue services scandal may be significantly higher than originally thought by the media.

While the exact number of pieces distributed and used in operations has not been revealed, hospitals in recent weeks have spoken of contacting hundreds of patients who may have received tainted tissue.

BTS has been accused of collecting body parts without donor consent and selling them for use in transplants performed at hospitals and other medical facilities across the country. The owner of BTS and three others were charged in a scheme that earned them millions of dollars. All four have pleaded not guilty.

BTS supplied bone, skin and tendons to various processors, who in turn provided them to distributors. Those companies are not accused of any wrongdoing.

Minnesota-based distributor Medtronic Inc. reported that at least 8,000 pieces that came from BTS were implanted, and others are being recalled, according to documents filed January in a federal lawsuit in Ohio.