Bone cement company accused of experimenting on humans

By The Associated Press From page A9 | May 22, 2016

In this Aug. 16, 2007, photo provided by Cynthia Wilson, Reba Golden stands outside Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Golden died on the operating table there the next day during what should have been a routine spinal surgery. Like several other spinal surgery patients before her, Golden died after her surgeon injected bone cement into her spine and some of the material leaked into her blood stream, causing massive clotting. Also like the other patients, Golden was never told that the bone cement was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (Cynthia Wilson via AP)

In this Aug. 16, 2007, photo provided by Cynthia Wilson, Reba Golden stands outside Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Golden died on the operating table there the next day during what should have been a routine spinal surgery. Like several other spinal surgery patients before her, Golden died after her surgeon injected bone cement into her spine and some of the material leaked into her blood stream, causing massive clotting. Also like the other patients, Golden was never told that the bone cement was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (Cynthia Wilson via AP)

SEATTLE — Reba Golden hurt her back after falling two floors while building an addition to her house in Honduras. But when she returned to Seattle for a routine spinal surgery, she suffered blood clots, severe bleeding and died in 2007 on the operating table.

Joan Bryant’s back had bothered her since a 1990 car accident, so in 2009 she sought help from a Seattle spinal surgeon, but she bled out on the operating table and could not be revived.

Like at least three spinal-surgery patients before them, Golden and Bryant died after their doctor injected bone cement into their spine and some of the material leaked into their blood stream, causing clotting.

The patients were never told Norian bone cement wasn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Instead, Norian and parent company Synthes used surgeons in what one doctor called “human experimentation.” Federal prosecutors say the aim was to skirt a long, costly regulatory process.

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