Ohio hospital resumes kidney transplants

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm •  Published: December 11, 2012
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio hospital where an operating nurse accidentally disposed of a viable kidney will resume live kidney transplants in the next few weeks, officials said Tuesday.

Live kidney transplants at the University of Toledo Medical Center had been voluntarily halted after the Aug. 10 incident. After numerous reviews and some policy changes, the hospital's decision to restart the program was affirmed last week by the United Network of Organ Sharing, according to Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for health affairs at the university.

The hospital apologized and put two nurses and an administrator of surgical services on paid leave after a donated kidney apparently was put with medical waste instead of going to the intended recipient in what medical experts described as a rare accident.

The hospital had, the following week, resumed deceased donor transplants — where an organ is harvested from a dead person and given to a live person — but voluntarily suspended the live program, where a kidney from a live donor is donated to a live recipient, pending internal and external reviews of the program.

Gold said the reviews resulted in procedural changes that officials believe will keep the mistake from happening again.

"Today we complete the next step in a difficult journey, but one I think unquestionably made us a stronger, safer hospital," Gold said.

Gold said the hospital has stayed in close communication with those affected by the error and remains committed to their medical care.