According to the National Foundation for Transplants, there are currently nearly 115,000 patients in the US waiting for a kidney transplant. When an organ such as a kidney becomes available to form a deceased organ donor, it is run through a national database, and “matched” to a person on the waiting list.
Factors deciding priority on the list include proximity to the available organ, the age and condition of the patient, and their chances of survivability. It is a good system, and it usually means that the most viable and deserving candidate gets the transplant.
But, like any system, mistakes can happen, and recently that occurred in a New Jersey hospital, when the wrong kidney patient on the waitlist, received the organ.
According to the Associated Press, a kidney meant for one patient was mistakenly transplanted into another with the same name, who was farther down the priority list.
Virtua Health says the Nov. 18 operation on a 51-year-old patient at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, was successful. But officials then discovered the patient was given the kidney out of priority order, because “unusually, the individual who should have received the organ has the same name and is of similar age.”
Virtua Health says the error was reported to state health officials and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
The patient – at another hospital entirely – who should have received the kidney also underwent a successful transplant days later, on Nov. 24.
Hospital officials say steps have been taken to prevent something like this from ever from happening again, but they did not elaborate on what those steps were.
What a nasty headline.
So just how were doctors at fault? Did they control the wait list? Who did? Your article fails to say.
We sure need more information so your doctor bashing can either stop (with my demand for an apology from you) or evidence that doctor(s) were at fault.