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Transplanted organ exposed to contaminants during surgery

Dec 12, 2013 | Surgical Errors

A New York couple is coping from the effects of an unusual set of circumstances which complicated an organ donation. A man was in need of a kidney transplant, and his wife was a perfect candidate. She passed all of the tests, and her kidney was perfectly healthy. However, as a result of surgical error the kidney had failed, and he now needs another transplant. The gift his wife gave has been negated.

According to the couple, during the procedure, her healthy kidney was exposed to a fluid leaking from the ceiling of the surgical suite. The surgical team apparently tried to ‘rescue’ the organ before implanting it in her husband. In the end, though, the kidney failed, and the couple believes it was due to the exposure and delayed implantation. While the couple remained under anesthesia, the kidney was flushed with clean fluids and antibiotics, and the tissue was studied under a microscope.

Despite finding a willing donor and a healthy kidney, the man is back in kidney failure. The medical bills have been a challenge for the couple due to these complications. Typically when we discuss surgical errors, the issue occurred inside the body of the patient. In this case, the circumstances of the contamination of the organ are unknown, but the results are the same.

Medical expenses can be a financial and emotional burden for families who are victims of surgical errors or medical malpractice, in addition to the already difficult illnesses they have faced. Compensation may be available to help to ease these burdens and help families in need move on from this difficult event.

Source: Newsday, "Couple’s lawsuit says hospital error ruined kidney" Delthia Ricks, Nov. 23, 2013