Kidney for US patient's transplant put in trash

(AP)—A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor this month at a U.S. hospital, and doctors tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to revive the organ in what medical experts describe as a rare accident, health officials said.

"Human error rendered the unusable," University of Toledo Medical Center spokesman Toby Klinger said Saturday. He declined to give more details, citing the hospital's investigation and its respect for the privacy of the patients involved.

But one of the doctors involved told Dr. David Grossman, a Toledo-Lucas County health commissioner, that a nurse disposed of the kidney improperly.

Grossman told the Blade newspaper in Toledo that a man had donated the kidney to his older sister. Both the donor and the intended recipient have been released from the hospital, Klinger said.

The hospital has voluntarily suspended the live program while they review what happened and determine how to prevent errors in the future, according to Dr. Jeffrey Gold, the medical center's chancellor and vice president for biosciences and .

He said that doctors tried to save the kidney, but "the physician in consultation with the family decided to not take the risk, knowing there was a good chance for another highly compatible donor."

Grossman's office is not involved in the investigation or connected to the medical center, Klinger said. Grossman could not be reached for comment Saturday. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department was closed.

This kind of accident is unheard of in organ transplant centers, and it was a good decision not to use the kidney, Dr. William Harmon, director of at Boston Children's Hospital, told the Blade.

"This is unfortunately what medicine is like—it is not perfect, and there have been far worse cases where the donor has died," Harmon said.

Officials at the United Network for Organ Sharing, an agency that oversees the nation's transplant programs, could not be reached for comment Saturday.

There were 16,816 kidney transplants in the U.S. last year from live donors and from those who consented to organ donation through state registries should they die from an illness or accident, the newspaper reported.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Transplant patient got AIDS from new kidney

Mar 17, 2011

(AP) -- A transplant patient contracted AIDS from the kidney of a living donor, in the first documented case of its kind in the U.S. since screening for HIV began in the mid-1980s.

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Aug 26, 2012
Blaming the nurse? It sounds like a procedural problem. It should be hard to accidentally do something that has serious ramifications.