People will try just about any medical procedure if they’re desperate enough it seems. But sometimes the treatment is a curse rather than a cure.
Three elderly women learned that lesson the hard way when they decided to try an experimental medical procedure in Florida.
From The New York Times:
The women had macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss, and they paid $5,000 each to receive stem-cell injections in 2015 at a private clinic in Sunrise, Fla. The clinic was part of a company then called Bioheart, now called U.S. Stem Cell. Staff members there used liposuction to suck fat out of the women’s bellies, and then extracted stem cells from the fat to inject into the women’s eyes.
Credit: Dr. Thomas Albini
Rather than repairing their ailing eyes, the procedure blinded the women, causing irreparable damage and robbing them of the eyesight they had remaining to them.
Two of the patients sued U.S. stem cell and settled, which prevents them from now speaking publicly about the case. Other than that, the clinic has suffered no repercussions. They continue to treat patients for other health issues.
The women stated that they believed the trials were approved by the government, having discovered the study on a government website: ClinicalTrials.Gov. Later, they discovered that because their own stem cells were being used, the procedure wasn’t subject to any kind of oversight.
Source: The New York Times