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Hospital Transplants Kidney into Wrong Patient

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February 17, 2011

Doctors at a California hospital transplanted a kidney into the wrong patient last month, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to the article, USC University Hospital in Los Angeles, CA shut down its kidney transplant program on January 29 after realizing a hospital error caused doctors to transplant a donor kidney into the wrong patient. The hospital voluntarily halted kidney transplant procedures to investigate what it called a “process error,” but did not release the nature of the error.

However, a spokesperson from OneLegacy, who directs organ transplants in the city, told the newspaper that the hospital notified them that that they had transplanted a kidney into the wrong patient and that the patient suffered no harm because the kidney was a close enough match.

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

The California Department of Public Health currently investigates the incident.

“Organs were allocated appropriately. They were packaged and labeled appropriately,” Bryan Stewart, vice president of communications for OneLegacy told KABC-TV in Los Angeles. “Then through a combination of circumstances, two Type-O kidneys being transplanted at virtually the same time in the same transplant center seems to have led to human error.”

The hospital notified the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) of the error.

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  1. Jon Lewis says:
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    What if this caused a death? Would the proposed federal caps be sufficient?