Any type of surgery that involves bones, including the spine, is complicated and usually results in a lengthy time of healing for patients. Those undergoing the often lengthy procedures place their trust in not only the surgeon but also the manufacturer of products necessary for these types of operations.
Side effects are common during post-surgery recovery. What is not as common are infections that result in tuberculosis.
A shocking discovery of a severe illness
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are conducting a thorough investigation of a bone repair product that resulted in a TB outbreak involving more than 100 patients who were infected, which resulted in eight deaths. Apparently, the material used was contaminated with bacteria that cause TB.
Aziyo Biologics Inc. is the manufacturer of FiberCel, created from human bone and engineered to replicate natural tissue. Tracking reveals that the regenerative medicine company sent shipments to 37 facilities in 20 states from early March to early April.
The company reacted to the discovery by recalling more than 150 containers of the malleable putty commonly used in various orthopedic procedures.
While tuberculosis is known for affecting the lungs, it can actually spread to any part of the body, including the spine, brain, and kidney. Symptoms include a severe and possibly bloody cough for several weeks, chest pain, appetite and weight loss, fever and chills, and night sweats.
In 2019, the CDC reported 9,000 tuberculosis diagnoses in the United States, with an estimated 13 million having latent infections.
While infections do not always occur, immediate treatment is still the best option and involves six months of antibiotics. Patients showing no signs of TB should still receive treatments as a proactive measure.
Medical companies are responsible for providing the highest standards of quality in the vital, potentially life-saving products they bring to the market. When they fall short, patients and their family members pay the price.