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Transplant center closed after nurse threw away donor kidney

Denver residents put their lives in their doctors' hands every day. We expect that the physicians we see and the staff members who work with know what they're doing, and we trust them to always put the patients' needs first. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made, leading to serious injury or even death for victims.

In that vein, Colorado residents may be interested in a recent story that has made headlines across the country. A nurse in Toledo, Ohio, and the hospital she works for may end up facing a medical malpractice lawsuit based on surgical errors after she reportedly threw away a viable kidney that was removed from a donor patient. According to reports, the kidney was intended to go to the patient's older sister but it somehow got mishandled.

Doctors retrieved the kidney. They tried to resuscitate the organ for over two hours. Ultimately, the patient's consulting physician decided not to take the risk of continuing the transplant. If the kidney had been used, there was risk of developing a worsened condition or suffering organ damage. The physician also noted that there was a good chance of finding another highly compatible donor as well.

This type of surgical error is very rare. In fact, the director of kidney transplantation at Boston Children's Hospital said that such an incident is "unheard of." He also approved of the doctor's decision for the patient not to receive the questionable organ.

When negligent operating room staff members cause a patient to sustain a serious injury or suffer a fatal surgical error, the hospital can be found to be negligent as well. Those who have been harmed or suffered injury because of a medical professional's negligence should know that they may have the option to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If successful, such a lawsuit can help a victim recover monetary compensation that can help pay for medical costs and other damages incurred. Speaking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney may be helpful in a situation like this.

Source: KOAA.com, "Botched Kidney Transplant," Garrett Boyd, Aug. 26, 2012

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