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Jennifer Heisler, RN

Kidney For Transplant Thrown Away In Toledo

By August 25, 2012

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For one patient in Toledo, Ohio, a long awaited kidney transplant didn't go as it should.  Instead a nurse threw away the kidney that was supposed to change her life.

Here's the scoop: the patient's brother was a perfect match.  Not a good match, a perfect match, known as a zero antigen mismatch in the transplant world.  This means that the genetic match between the two was so perfect that the recipient would require very minimal immunosupressive drugs to keep her from rejecting the kidney. For an organ transplant patient, a zero antigen mismatch could be compared to winning the lottery.

The brother goes to surgery and the kidney is removed.  The kidney is supposed to be kept in preservation solution or placed on a special kidney pump until it is delivered to the operating room where it would be placed in the recipient.  Instead, an operating room nurse mistook the kidney for medical waste and discarded it.  By the time it was found it was no longer transplantable.

Not only is the patient's brother lacking one kidney, but she will remain on the waiting list for a kidney that may or may not ever come.  For now, the live donor kidney transplant program at University of Toledo Medical Center is on hold while an investigation is completed.

Video: Kidney Transplant Surgery

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