More than 30 Kenyan Children with Severe Spinal Disorders to Benefit from RTI Biologics' Allograft Donation to CURE International
RTI Biologics Inc. (RTI) (Nasdaq: RTIX), a leading provider of orthopedic and other biologic implants, recently donated 35 bone allograft implants to Lemoyne, Pa.-based CURE International. The demineralized bone matrix (DBM) powder, illium strip tricortical and hemi femoral shaft will be used at AIC-CURE International Children's Hospital of Kenya in Kijabe, Kenya, to care for more than 30 children with severe spinal disorders.
Patients at AIC-CURE International Children's Hospital of Kenya's mobile clinic. (Photo: Business Wire)
According to Timothy Mead, M.D., global consultant for CURE International, the allografts will be used to treat physically disabled, economically-disadvantaged patients at CURE's 30-bed orthopedic/pediatric teaching hospital. The hospital provides care for children suffering from conditions such as clubfoot, cleft lip and cleft palate, curvature of the spine and disabilities stemming from polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other congenital abnormalities. The donated implants will be used as part of the treatment for patients suffering from tuberculosis, which often affects their spine and other joints.
“Typically, children with severe spinal disorders will arrive at our mobile clinic in an advanced state of the disease in which an entire vertebra or more may have been eaten away and the spine is collapsing into severe kyphosis,” said Mead. “The child may be unable to walk independently, they may have difficulty controlling their bladder and bowels and all will have constant back pain. The worst affected children are unable to move or feel their lower limbs, which puts them at risk of developing pressure sores, infection and death.”
CURE International surgeons working in Kenya have limited access to metal or synthetic implants and, with small children in particular, there may be little autograft available for the surgery. Allograft implants, such as those donated by RTI, can be used to restore spinal alignment and fill the defect after surgery.
“Recovery following the surgery is a slow process, but often, within a few days, we see improvement,” said Mead. “Patients find that their back pain disappears and smiles return to their faces.”
According to Mead, RTI's donated implants will help more than 30 children in Kenya—the total amount of children who undergo spinal reconstruction surgery in one year at the hospital.
“As a global biologics company, RTI is honored to support the work of surgeons like Dr. Mead through this donation to CURE International,” said Brian K. Hutchison, RTI president and CEO. “We are grateful to be a part of the process — from the generous gift of tissue donation to the hard work of the surgeon at implantation — of providing these safe, biologic implants that will help restore life for these children in Kenya.”
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 eliminates a second surgical site, allowing the recipient to avoid additional pain, risk and a possibly longer hospital stay. In addition, in some cases, it is not possible to obtain an autograft, so allografts are a natural solution.
RTI uses stringent donor screening, laboratory testing and proprietary, validated sterilization processes to ensure patients' safety. These redundant safeguards provide the highest level of confidence that patients will receive safe, high quality tissue. 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.
About CURE International
CURE International is the largest provider of reconstructive surgery to disabled children in the developing world and operates hospitals and programs in 29 nations. Since opening the doors of its first surgical teaching hospital in Kijabe, Kenya in 1998, CURE's focus on bringing healing to developing nations has resulted in more than 2 million patient visits and over 147,000 surgeries to correct physically disabling conditions. CURE has also trained more than 6,600 medical professionals, raising the standard of care in the countries where it operates.
The AIC-CURE International Children's Hospital in Kijabe serves approximately 8,000 children and performs approximately 2,500 surgeries each year. The hospital also operates mobile clinics that travel to remote regions to provide follow-up care and identify children who can be treated at the hospital. To learn more, visit www.cure.org.
About RTI Biologics Inc.
RTI Biologics Inc. is a leading provider of sterile biologic implants for surgeries around the world with a commitment to advancing science, safety and innovation. RTI prepares human donated tissue and animal tissue for transplantation through extensive testing and screening, precision shaping and using proprietary, validated processes. These allograft and xenograft implants are used in orthopedic, dental and other specialty surgeries.
RTI's innovations continuously raise the bar of science and safety for biologics – from being the first company to offer precision-tooled bone implants and assembled technology to maximize each gift of donation, to inventing validated sterilization processes that include viral inactivation steps. These processes — BioCleanse®, Tutoplast® and Cancelle® SP DBM — have a combined record of more than five million implants sterilized with zero incidence of implant-associated infection. These processes have been validated by tissue type to inactivate or remove viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores from the tissue while maintaining biocompatibility and functionality.
RTI's worldwide corporate headquarters are located in Alachua, Fla., with international locations in Germany and France. The company is accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks in the United States and is a member of AdvaMed.
Editor's Note: Photos of AIC-CURE International Children's Hospital of Kenya in Kijabe, Kenya, are available upon request.
RTI Biologics Inc.
Jenny Highlander, APR, 386-418-8888, ext. 4149
Manager, Corporate Communications