USC shuts down kidney transplant program after medical mistake

USC University Hospital suspended their kidney transplant program on January 29 after the hospital made an egregious mistake; they transplanted the wrong donor kidney into a recipient reports KTLA.com.

USC said:

The hospital inactivated the program while clinical protocols are assessed and additional safeguards to the kidney transplant program are developed.”

What happened was that two kidneys arrived at the hospital from separate donors. The hospital, through a process error, transplanted the one organ into a patient that was not its intended recipient.

The hospital said that luckily the patient was not harmed and they did not have to remove the organ because the kidney was of the universal blood type O.

USC generally does two kidney transplant surgeries per week. They hope to correct the processor error and have their transplant program up and running shortly.

Most hospitals have safety measures to prevent a wrong-site surgery such as having the patient write with a sharpie pen on their limb. Removal of the wrong organ or wrong-site surgeries rarely happen but it is a type of medical mistake that does make the news. We are not aware of any other incident where the wrong organ was given to a patient.

Approximately 98,000 people die every year due to hospital errors. The government seeks to cap award damages that patients and their families receive. However, we are a plaintiffs attorney and we believe that it is far better to eliminate medical errors. In fields such as aviation, there is no acceptance of errors and there should not be any in the medical field.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical malpractice, there are many things to consider. At The Farber Law Group, we can provide you with information you need on how to proceed.

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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.