L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

USC transplants kidney into wrong person

USC University Hospital shut down its kidney transplant program last month after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient, according to a spokesman for the program that coordinates organ transplants in Los Angeles.

The patient escaped harm apparently because the mistake involved a kidney that happened to be a close enough match, said Bryan Stewart, a spokesman for One Legacy, which was notified of the error by the hospital.

TELL US WHAT YOU KNOW: Share your story about this program with The Times

In a statement, the hospital confirmed that it had temporarily and voluntarily halted transplants Jan. 29 after a “process error” was discovered. The hospital did not detail the nature of the error and declined to answer questions. But it said that no patients were harmed.

A spokesman for the state Department of Public Health said the licensing agency was investigating. The hospital said transplants may resume as early as today, pending the conclusion of its own investigation.

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

The hospital said it notified the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) on Feb. 4 that the kidney program had been halted.

The review of the program, includes "validation of a corrective action plan by a kidney transplant surgeon and transplant administrator from other transplant centers, and staff from the UNOS Department of Quality," the hospital said.

As of Feb. 11, USC had 508 patients waiting for kidneys, including 313 men and 195 women, according to UNOS, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program that organizes the distribution of organs for transplant.

“The California Department of Public Health has an ongoing investigation at the University of Southern California’s hospitals, and we are unable to provide further information,” said spokesman Ralph Montano. The department licenses hospitals in California and investigates complaints from patients, workers and members of the public, as well as certain significant incidents that hospitals are required to report. Montano could not say when or how the USC investigation began.

RELATED:

USC shuts down kidney transplant program after mistake

USC University Hospital nurses and staff picket amid contract negotiations

-- Lisa Girion

 
Comments () | Archives (42)

How does stuff like this actually happen?Is everybody on Facebook instead of doing their jobs properly? Sheeeeeeeesh.

There is a big push for surgeons (no matter the level of experience) to start checklists when they do any procedure. Of course, most doctors think this idea is ludicrous but studies have show it can save lives.

If I even need surgery I will practically write some guidelines on my body with a black sharpie pen;

Blood type 0-
Remove this leg, not this one
Insert organ here X
Remember to count instruments before and after

The hospital need to place a label on the top of the kidney, they can order to Staple.

of course this would happen at U$C. should've came to Ronald Reagan, best in the west.

so, can just anyone get a job transplanting kidneys? because i could use a raise.
i work in entertainment, and if we make any mix-ups here, we get fired quick.
we also don't make much money.
maybe i'll open a shop transplanting kidneys. can't be that hard, right?

Perhaps they transplanted the wrong kidney into a candidate recipient for kidney transplant, not merely an otherwise unspecified hospital patient. Is that possibly a distinction readers would appreciate?

And they want to LOWER Staffing Levels!??

Oooopsie !

Kidney and shutdown are words that scare.

HA!! That's USC for you. Duh On!

"The patient escaped harm apparently because the mistake involved a kidney that was a close enough match."

- Ok, so what about the poor person who was WAITING for the kidney?!!!

how much would you bet than even though the recipient got a good kidney, s/he will sue?

WoW!!!!

University of Stupid Children

This is both hilarious and horrifying. Mostly horrifying.

Hey Palin & Bohner-- get those malpractice lawyers off our backs!!

oh wait, that's the surgeon making an incision.

I received a kidney transplant at Harbor/UCLA in Torrance 5 years ago. It has been very successful. All Renal Transplant hospitals are in contact with each other. The program is absolutely fantastic and the conscientiousness of the dedicated Renal Transplant Teams is phenomenal. The program is not just locally administered but is in fact nationwide.As with all other walks of life, an error can occur and apparently this is what happened in this case. Do not look at the errors but count the succeses! After having been on dialysis, the gift of a kidney has helped me live a normal life again. I am in total awe of all the Transplant Teams, from the Surgeons to the after care Doctors, the dedicated nursing staff. To me they are miracle workers. Also, pray for the generosity of those who cared enough to donate their kidneys to help others. Both living and deceased donors. When it is my turn I will donate also. Please consider doing so.

USC Medicine is sub-par for a Major University. I was supposed to have a craniotomy there back in '93 but apparently they had lost my medical records and pertinent medical tests needed before the surgery. I waited about 3 months after re-submitting everything a second time, to be told that they were misplaced again. I wonder what would have happened during surgery itself? Went to UCLA NEUROSURGERY for a consult and pre-op workup and the whole process took less than a month and a half! USC may be good in Football, but I'll take UCLA and their Medical Program over USC anyday!

This case illustrates why we still need a functioning medical malpractice lawsuit system. When legislators demand an end to" frivolous lawsuits," they mean cases like this one too. And as it is, the victim can't collect any more than $250,000 no matter how badly this boneheaded mistake ruins his life.

Sounds like someone from the University of Second Choice.

How can this happen in the year 2011?

Maybe all hospitals should embed RFIDs into all extracted organs, and employ an on-site inventory control manager that scans them before "checkout" time.

I hate when that happens.

HOW THE HELL does this happen?!?

No comments, hummmm wondwe why?

It's because we're noobs.

 
1 2 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: