A family has filed suit against the University of Toledo Medical Center after the hospital discarded a donor kidney. This wasn't just any kidney. This kidney came from the brother of the donor recipient. The hospital doesn't dispute that the facts of this incident, but the hospital has asked an Ohio judge to throw out several claims the family has initiated against the hospital for damages. The hospital admits a nurse mislabeled the brother's kidney, and it was discarded. The recipient did receive the kidney she needed, and the hospital assisted the family in finding this alternate kidney. After the incident occurred, live donor transplants were suspended at the hospital and various oversight measures were put in place. Several employees who assisted in the botched transplant were fired or forced to retire. Interestingly enough, one of the nurses fired over this incident has filed a lawsuit against the hospital for wrongful termination and defamation.
The bottom line with this case is that hospitals are responsible for their employees. The hospital administration is charged with implementing policies to ensure these mistakes are not made. It is not clear whether the nurses assisting with this procedure followed the hospitals protocols, and this issue will likely surface during the litigation. The silver lining in this story is that the recipient received her kidney, but because one kidney was wasted, another kidney recipient lost his or her chance at that kidney. The hospital is responsible for this waste, and it is not denying it is responsible. At this point, it appears that the hospital is attempting to limit its damages in the upcoming litigation.
Contact with health care professionals is a necessary part of our society and almost always beneficiary. However, providers are human and mistakes can be made. Even the most careful health care professionals can make a mistake that injures a patient. However, not all medical mistakes rise to the level of malpractice. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Meyerkord, Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC will help you if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice. Our medical malpractice attorneys continue to set the standard for representation of difficult cases. If you have a medical malpractice issue, contact us at (314) 436-9958 or (800) 391-4318 to schedule a no-obligation meeting with a medical malpractice attorney.
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