Patients put their lives in the hands of Fayetteville medical professionals every day. Whether a woman is giving birth or an individual is undergoing surgery, patients trust that their doctors are properly assessing and monitoring the medical situation.
However, when medical professionals and hospitals fail to take their responsibilities seriously, they risk putting the health and lives of their patients in danger. Last week, a couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a prominent hospital after several officials made a serious mistake during a kidney transplant.
The lawsuit claims that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, four doctors, a nurse and other hospital staff failed to perform a successful kidney transplant when the man was given an infected kidney. Now the man suffers from a potentially life-threatening liver infection.
The 50-year-old man suffered from Type I diabetes and a kidney disease. His girlfriend of 21 years said that her boyfriend's health was not improving, so she decided to donate her kidney to him. "I just wanted to do whatever I could to help," she said.
Several screenings were performed in order to determine whether or not the woman was a compatible donor. Much to her delight, doctors informed the couple that the woman was "an excellent candidate for kidney donation."
The kidney transplant took place on April 6, and the couple believed that it was a successful operation. However, just a month after the transplant, doctors informed the woman that she was infected with hepatitis C. In fact, doctors had failed to note that blood tests conducted months before the surgery indicated that the woman had the virus.
In addition to missing the crucial blood test result that would have dismissed the woman as an organ donor, the lawsuit also alleges that hospital staff attempted to cover up the mistake.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mistakes such as this one are not uncommon and hospital negligence and doctors' errors continue to be a concerning issue. During 2007 to 2010, more than 200 cases involving organ transplants may have resulted in the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Source: msnbc.com, "Couple sues hospital after he gets her infected kidney," JoNel Aleccia, Sept. 21, 2011