Three Women Lose Vision After Unproven Stem Cell Injection Into Eyes; Lack Of FDA Regulation Encourages Mushrooming Of Stem Cell Clinics?
In a shocking incident, three women lost their vision due to an unproven stem cells injection into their eyes. It is reported that the incident took place in a private clinic located in Sunrise, Florida and the unproven method made one of them completely blind, and others got severely affected in their eyesight. Now, it is considered to be a point of discussion considering the government couldn't regulate the services offered by the clinics.
The incident was reported in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It reports that the women were from ages 72, 78, and 88 and were facing some blurry vision, though they were able to see well and even drive. The report further stated that the 72-year-old completely lost her vision and that all of them paid $5,000 each in 2015 to receive the stem cells injection. The clinic was a branch of the company called Bioheart, later renamed to U.S. Stem Cell. It is reported that the clinic staff took the cells from women's bellies using liposuction and developed the stem cells to inject to the eyes of the women.
"The patients were actually paying for a procedure that is not at all part of a clinical trial or studied in trials. It lacked safety measures and injected to both the eyes on the same day, which is very unnatural," said Dr. Ajay Kuriyan from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami. According to Dr. George Daley, dean of the Harvard Medical School, the procedure seems to be done correctly in a legal point of view. But, it is a clear exploitation in the name of "Stem Cells" and another example of cashing.
Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at the University of California, questions the intentions of the FDA and complains that the agency couldn't curb the trials, and this encouraged many stem cells clinics mushrooming across the country. "The inability of the agency is not only endangering the patients, but it also tarnishes the image of FDA," Knoepfler wrote.