Knee1 Headlines

FDA Criticized on Tissue Transplants

Printer Friendly Version     Email this Article     Links/Reprints

FDA Criticized on Tissue Transplants

FDA Criticized on Tissue Transplants

May 14, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration was criticized Wednesday for failing to issue regulations governing hundreds of tissue banks despite at least one death linked to infected tissue and investigations that have found widespread problems.

Sen. Susan Collins, chairwoman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, said she has repeatedly pressed the FDA to issue rules regulating the industry that have been pending for more than six years.

"The FDA still has not kept its commitment to addressing this public health risk," said Collins, R-Maine. "The result of bureaucratic inertia has been tragedy.

The regulations that have been proposed, but not finalized, would require more stringent testing of tissue before it is given to patients and would add controls for the processing of human tissue.

In prepared testimony submitted to the committee, Dr. Jesse Goodman, a top FDA official, said the agency was working to oversee the industry and was still reviewing comments on the proposed regulations.

"FDA is committed to protecting public health by promoting greater safety of tissues used in transplantation," said Goodman, director of the agency's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

In 2001, 23-year-old Brian Lykins of Willmar, Minn., died after routine surgery, where bone tissue from a cadaver was grafted into his knee. The tissue apparently was infected with a deadly bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated Lykins' death, and said Wednesday that it has reports of 62 infections associated with soft-tissue grafts.

Lykins' father, Steve Lykins, told the committee that he was outraged to learn that the FDA still had not acted on the proposed regulations.

"How could a medical industry in the United States of America be allowed to operate like this?" he asked. "This industry has been allowed to operate like something out of the wild West for too long."

Two years ago, before the younger Lykins' death, the FDA told the committee that it would move ahead with its regulations. At that hearing, investigators reported widespread problems. Among them: operators who ran multiple tests on recovered tissue in hopes that a second test would find material healthy when the first did not; tissue banks that pooled material from several donors despite medical risk of one person's tissue contaminating another, and operators who mishandled cadavers after removing bone and skin.

Collins said Wednesday that she would press for legislation requiring the FDA to issue regulations covering tissue transplants within 90 days. "It is obvious me that without a statutory deadline FDA will continue to delay and delay," she said.

Previous Stories

Arizona Ace Undergoes Successful Arthroscopic Procedure

"More Life, Less Limits" for 70 Million Americans with Arthritis

Knee Surgery: Steps for a Successful Operation

more Feature Stories


Does Creatine cause Hair Loss?
By singhnri123
more more Blogs RSS

5 days post op ACL surgery - strange horrible pain
By dadoody

Posted: Jul 16, 2018
I'm 12 years post op, but I remember that pain. I stretched out the percocet and vicodin for about 1 or 1.5 weeks I think. It prevented pain, but I couldn't poop for a week.  Maybe they can ...

more more Forums

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Learn about the process of arthroscopic knee surgery in detail. This video, ...
more more Featured Videos

Dr. Robert Klapper

Dr. Robert Klapper:

Preventing Knee Surgery
  more Heroes
  nominate a Hero
  Hero policy