The transplantation of organs is a lifesaver for many and they are becoming more and more common and routine throughout the nation, including the Pittsburgh area. The transplant of kidneys from a live donor is just one surgery that is gaining in popularity. Despite the increased frequency of these types of surgeries, they are medical procedures nonetheless which means there are certain risks that accompany them.
We have written about some of those risks in previous posts. In some cases the donor is injured or dies when there is a mistake in the operating room. Other times, there is an issue when an organ that is transplanted is diseased in some way. In this post, we explore yet another thing that could go wrong with a live-donor kidney program-discarding the organ before it can be transplanted.
This recently occurred in a neighboring state and lead to a suspension of the program. A representative for the hospital where it occurred indicated that it was human error that led to the surgical mistake. The local health commissioner indicated that it was a nurse who mistakenly placed in the kidney in the medical waste receptacle.
The surgery was supposed to transfer a kidney from a man to his sister. Though they have both reportedly been released from the hospital, it is not clear if the woman received a kidney prior to going home. If she did, it would have had to have been through another source.
As a result of this error, three individuals have been suspended-two nurses and an administrator of surgical services. It is not clear if a civil lawsuit will be filed regarding the matter.
Source: Business Week, "Surgeon, officials review Ohio transplant error," Kantele Franko on Aug. 30, 2012
Our Pennsylvania law firm handles personal injury cases, including those pertaining to the type discussed in today's post. Please visit our Pittsburgh surgical errors page to learn more about us.