Transplants came from donor with brain cancer

FOUR Queensland patients, including three babies, have been given heart tissue transplants taken from a donor with brain cancer in a scandal that has been uncovered at the state's only heart valve bank.

Queensland Health discovered the contaminated transplants, which may expose the patients to a risk of cancer, as part of an inquiry into fraud allegations at the facility.

Three of the patients are infants under the age of one and the other is a young adult.

It is understood Queensland Health cannot rule out other patients being given transplants with contaminated tissue.

The Courier Mail last month revealed the Queensland Heart Valve Bank had been closed since January and the scientists running it were stood aside after allegations of mismanagement.

The closure of the facility means no heart valves can be collected from organ donors in Queensland.

Health Minister Steven Miles told parliament last month the bank was not permanently closed and patients were not affected.

"There is no impact on patients or patient care. All tissue banks in Australia work collaboratively depending on need and it is common to source tissue from interstate," he told parliament.

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