RECENTLY, there have been three well-publicized reports of infections transferred to patients from cadaver and donor tissues used for various procedures: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from a dura mater graft; hepatitis B from donor sperm; and finally, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) from a skin graft, reported in Britain (JAMA 1987;257:1036-1037 [see also JAMA 1986;255:581-584, 587] and this issue, Leads From the MMWR; JAMA 1987;257:1079-1081, 1093-1094; Am Med News, March 13, 1987, p 51).
Despite this clustering, tissue-transplantation specialists maintain that infections transmitted to a patient from allogeneic tissue are rare. However, those reports are, in a variety of ways, symptomatic of the current situation in tissue use and banking. The fact that they are of general interest to the medical community signifies the growing importance of tissue transplantation.
"Tissue banking is going through a real revolution," says Joseph Matthews II, MD, cochair of the Standards Committee of the American Association of Tissue Banks