Stem cell therapy sickens at least 17 patients in 5 states

At least 17 people in five states have been hospitalized after being injected with products made from umbilical cord blood in the last year, prompting new warnings from health officials about the risks of unproven stem cell treatments, according to The Washington Post.

The injections are sold as a miracle cure for a variety of intractable conditions. These products are not approved by federal regulators or supported by clinical research, but companies selling them say they provide pain relief to many patients.

All but two of the illnesses have been linked to a California-based company called Liveyon. The CDC issued a report in December tying 12 cases in several states to treatments from the company. Three more patients in Texas and Maine have filed lawsuits against Liveyon, claiming the product infected them with bacteria.

The CDC said the 12 patients developed a variety of maladies from the injections, including swollen spinal discs, infected bones and joints and abscesses in their backs. Three of those patients were hospitalized for a month or more, according to the report.

The Post obtained internal company records showing Liveyon received reports of patients falling ill as early as June 5, 2018 — nearly four months before the product was recalled.

Liveyon executives did not dispute that finding but said they failed to act sooner because they believed the infections were caused by physicians who inadvertently contaminated their product while injecting patients.

However, CDC officials said the bacterial contamination probably "occurred before distribution" to physicians. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars