Stem cells have raised hopes in the possibility of successfully treating degenerative diseases such as arthritis, damaged spinal discs, neurological diseases and even heart failure. But recently reported cases of women going blind after stem cell grafts into their retina have led to medical malpractice lawsuits, albeit promptly settled. The disastrous results highlight the perils of a revolutionary treatment option that is currently unregulated in the United States.
Blindness From Stem Cell Treatment
Three women who were suffering from macular degeneration, an eye condition that leads to vision loss, paid a private clinic in Florida to provide stem cell injections sometime in 2015. The procedure involved liposuction of some fat cells at the belly area, extracting stem cells from the fat tissues and then injecting the extracted stem cells into the retina. Instead of curing the degenerative eye disease, the controversial stem cell procedure permanently damaged both eyes of the patients, leaving them legally blind.
While additional details of the case can no longer be obtained due to non disclosure clauses in the patients’ settlement agreements, specialists of stem cell therapy maintain that it is prudent practice for them to inject only one eye at a time, allowing them to initially determine the efficacy of the treatment, so as to prevent the loss of eyesight in both eyes due to complications.
Injury From Stem Cell Treatment
Stem cell therapy is the latest approach in the treatment of degenerative diseases. However, the public has little access to studies and outcomes illustrating the risks associated with stem cell treatment. Doctors and nurses who are engaged in this type of treatment are nevertheless bound to exercise diligence in the treatment and care of their patients and to avoid harm or injury in their treatment.
If you or someone you know has suffered severe complications from a stem cell procedure or other medical procedure, report your situation immediately and get the appropriate help you need to prevent catastrophic injuries.
It would also be wise to consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer about your situation. Medical malpractice cases are often complicated, making it difficult to determine the true cause of an injury and the persons legally responsible for it.
At the law firm of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our personal injury attorneys know how to read medical reports and can review the issues related to a medical injury. We also have access to medical specialists who can provide expert testimony to establish the cause of your injury.