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Kidney for Ohio patient's transplant put in trash

By Associated Press


TOLEDO, Ohio >> A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor this month at an Ohio hospital, and doctors tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to resuscitate the organ in what medical experts describe as a rare accident, health officials said.

"Human error rendered the kidney unusable," University of Toledo Medical Center spokesman Toby Klinger said Saturday, but he declined to give more details, citing the hospital's investigation into what happened 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. Two nurses have been placed on paid administrative leave while the hospital reviews what happened, Klinger said.

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 kidney donor 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 health affairs.

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, and Grossman's home telephone number was not available.

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 kidney transplantation 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 nationwide 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.

Last year, 136 people in Ohio died waiting for a kidney, and 4,711 people died nationally waiting for a kidney, the newspaper reported.

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nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This is so tragic all the way around. The nurse will forever be remembered for this costly error. I hope that the woman finds another donor.
on August 25,2012 | 01:15PM
soundofreason wrote:
Like maybe....the nurse's. Maybe too harsh. Maybe.
on August 26,2012 | 08:18AM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
This sounds harsh, but given the likelihood that the woman who has total kidney failure will probably die before a kidney from a cadaveric donor becomes available (average life span of a patient on kidney dialysis is 3 yrs. and the lady has probably been on dialysis for at least a year) the nurse who wasn't paying attention and threw the kidney in the rubbish should go to jail for one year and have her nursing license permanently revoked when she is released from prison (she needs her license while in prison so that she can serve as a nurse in the prison hospital). Such a harsh penalty is necessary so that it will be a deterrent from others in the health care system from being careless.
on August 25,2012 | 03:01PM
Forever_Grateful wrote:
I know someone who gave donated her kidney several years ago because she read an article of a lady in Maui that did it and thought she could too. It went to the next person in line who was a match. She is perfectly healthy today with her one kidney and she saved the life of a young man. She did an awesome thing and I wish I could do the same. It is alarming to read that 4,711 people died last year waiting for a kidney. There are so many healthy people out there that could do it and save so many lives. I pray this lady gets a kidney before it's too late!
on August 25,2012 | 05:11PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Forever_Grateful, god bless your friend. She is a saint to save a stranger's life.
on August 25,2012 | 05:18PM
bluemountain wrote:
To bad wasn't in Hawaii...the two nurses could have gotten a $200,000/yr. job @ UH!
on August 26,2012 | 12:49PM
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