RTI Biologics Inc. (RTI) (Nasdaq: RTIX), the Florida-based processor of orthopedic, dental, hernia and other biologic implants, donated nearly 500 spinal allografts to AIC-CURE International Children’s Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya this week.
The allograft implants will be used for spinal fusions to treat congenital spinal deformities, limb defects and vertebral reconstruction for tuberculosis infection in Kenyan children. Without surgical reconstruction, spines affected by tuberculosis often collapse and paralyze those affected. In addition, limb defects and impediments make life difficult and limit opportunities for these children to grow and reach their full potential.
“This donation has allowed us to reach new heights of surgical reconstruction in Kenya,” said Timothy C. Mead, MD, medical director of CURE Kenya. “Without RTI’s support, our potential would not be as great and fewer children would have their lives transformed through successful surgery.”
AIC-CURE International Children’s Hospital has provided life-changing surgeries to more than 22,000 Kenyan children since 1998.
“Our mission at RTI is to improve lives through biologic solutions to achieve life-restoring and life-saving results,” said Brian K. Hutchison, chairman and CEO for RTI. “Through the generous gift of tissue donation, RTI is able to provide these allografts to children in need.”
Allograft is tissue surgically transplanted from one person to another. Most allograft tissue is recovered surgically after someone dies; the donor must have consented to the donation before death or the donor’s family must consent after death. Tissue transplantation can have many benefits for recipients including repairing tissue defects caused by trauma or disease, restoring mobility and regaining independence in daily activities.
Allografts are used as an alternative to synthetic and metal implants. However, unlike synthetic or metal implants, allografts are a natural and biocompatible scaffold, allowing the recipient’s body to remodel it into his or her own tissue over time. Using allograft tissue rather than an autograft - or tissue from one’s own body - eliminates a second surgical site, allowing the recipient to avoid additional pain, risk and a possible longer hospital stay.
RTI honors the gift of tissue donation by treating the tissue with respect, by finding new ways to use the tissue to help patients and by helping as many patients as possible from each donation.