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USC Re-Opens Transplant Program

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 7:01am

Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, AP

A University of Southern California-affiliated hospital reactivated its kidney transplant program — two months after it was shut down because a doctor put the wrong kidney into a patient who survived the error. USC University Hospital's transplant director Dr. Cynthia Herrington said Tuesday the program was restarted after voluntarily shutting down February 4 to strengthen patient safety standards.

The mix-up occurred Jan. 29 after two kidneys from separate donors arrived at the transplant center."The error was the result of both human error and process error," Herrington said in a statement. "It was our process of matching the donor identification number to the recipient's name that failed." The hospital has implemented a new procedure and trained staff in ways to avoid repeating the error, said Herrington.

A mismatched kidney could be fatal, but the patient who received the wrong kidney was not harmed because the organ was a close enough match and the donor's blood type was O, which is universally accepted. The federal oversight agency United Network for Organ Sharing conducted a review at the hospital in February. The federally contracted private agency oversees transplant medicine in the United States. Spokesman Joel Newman has said the agency does not release reviews if no problems are found.

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