Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Texas Hospital Shuts Down Body Part Program After Recalling Shipments for Fear of HIV, Hepatitis Contamination
University of Texas Medical Branch officials on Tuesday said that the center's Willed Body Program has been shut down after the announcement of the latest in a "series of embarrassing revelations," the Houston Chronicle reports. After UTMB officials discovered that the medical branch's records were "in such disarray" that they could not determine whether any of the body parts had been tested for diseases, officials on Monday issued a recall of body parts shipped from the program to 60 research facilities nationwide, saying the body parts might have carried infectious diseases, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The officials said that the facilities should return all body parts shipped to them between November 2000 and May 2002 (Moran, Houston Chronicle, 8/6). "We just don't have the confidence in the completeness or accuracy of the records, so what we're doing is sending letters of notification to these medical research programs," UTMB spokesperson Chris Comer said (Lozano,
AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 8/6). The body parts, including feet, knees and elbows, are primarily used for research purposes, but they may have been used in tissue transplants, the
AP/New York Times reports (AP/New York Times, 8/7). As of Monday, officials did not know whether any researchers had come in contact with or had been infected by the potentially untested body parts (AP/South Florida
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