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Nurse accidently disposed of kidney intended for transplant

A kidney transplant in another state went terribly wrong after a nurse mistakenly disposed of a viable kidney intended for transplant. A story like this raises questions about the procedures that are in place in hospitals all across the country and what is being done to prevent negligence in the operating room.

The incident occurred in August. According to reports, the nurse who disposed of the kidney was on a break when the organ was placed in a sterile, semi-frozen solution. It is unclear how the nurse was able to remove the 13-gallon bag that held the kidney without others seeing her.

A review by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that poor oversight, insufficient policies and inadequate communication were contributing factors in the incident. The hospital voluntarily suspended their living-donor kidney transplant program after the incident. Since then, the hospital has reportedly changed certain policies to prevent something like this from happening in the future. However, nothing can change the past.

In an operating room, doctors and nurses literally hold people's lives in their hands. Although mistakes do happen, medical professionals must do all that they can to prevent patient harm.

When people in New York City and elsewhere are harmed as a result of a medical professional's negligence, they have legal options to consider. In some instances, a medical malpractice lawsuit is appropriate to hold negligent doctors and hospitals responsible. A successful lawsuit often provides people with much-needed compensation to cover medical bills and to make up for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: KNOE 8 News, "Report: Ohio nurse didn't realize she took kidney," Kantele Franko, Sept. 24, 2012

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