Originally published August 5 2013
Man dies from rabies after receiving infected transplant kidney
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) As Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has said often, the organ donor "business" in America is just that - a business - and it continues to endanger the living because of its profit-margin existence. Here is another example of how the system can fail those it was intended to serve.
ABC News reported July 24 that a Maryland man had died from rabies after receiving a kidney from an infected donor. Citing a report on the occurrence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ABC News said the Maryland patient was the eighth known victim who had received a rabies tainted solid organ transplant:
The man, whose name and age have not been released, developed brain inflammation known as encephalitis in February, 17 months after the transplant, according to the report published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He died 26 days later.
At the time of the transplant, the organ donor was brain dead from what doctors thought was ciguatera, a form of food poisoning caused by contaminated fish. That he had recently been bitten by two raccoons, the most frequently reported rabid animal in the United States, went unreported until after the transplant, according to the report.
Not 'severe gastroenteritis'
"This transmission event provides an opportunity for enhancing rabies awareness and recognition and highlights the need for a modified approach to organ donor screening and recipient monitoring for infectious encephalitis," the authors wrote.
The Maryland patient became sick during a fishing trip and developed nausea and tingling in his arms, both of which are signs of rabies and ciguatera, the latter is a food-borne illness caused by eating certain reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with toxins.
However, scans of his brain before he died did not find any signs of encephalitis - swelling of the brain - which is a primary sign of rabies. That non-finding led doctors to determine that there was "no increased risk for infectious disease transmission," the CDC said. The dead man's heart, liver and kidneys were transplanted to four other patients.
The CDC report said that an autopsy done independently of the organ procurement ultimately determined ciguatera to be "extremely unlikely" in the Maryland man's death, which doctors said was due to "complications of severe gastroenteritis."
But post-mortem testing of the kidney and brain tissue of the donor, a year and a half after the death of the Maryland kidney recipient, found the same strain of raccoon rabies.
It wasn't clear whether anyone at the hospital involved in the transplant was disciplined; their names have also not been released.
'Transplant industry is all about money'
Dr. Michael Green, chairman of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and United Network for Organ Sharing's Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Committee, says transmission of diseases from transplanted organs is rare.
"That said, for any individual potential organ donor and potential organ recipient, the risk of a potential disease transmission must be weighed against the potential adverse outcomes associated with not getting a transplant," said Green, who also serves as a professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
"The organ procurement organizations have careful screening procedures, and the transplant community works together to constantly enhance patient safety," Green noted. "The lessons we learn from this experience help to improve policies and enhance the transplant community's understanding with a goal of decreasing the risk to transplant recipients as much as possible."
Mike Adams draws completely different conclusions.
"Truth be told, the organ transplant industry is all about money -- at any cost. It's about killing patients who might otherwise survive in order to take their organs and make millions of dollars transplanting them into other patients... patients who typically only have a few months to live even after the transplant," he writes. See his full story here: http://www.naturalnews.com
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