Toledo, OH – A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney that was removed from a living donor, according to MSN. Although doctors attempted to revive the trashed organ, they were ultimately unsuccessful in their endeavor. While officials at the University of Toledo hospital have been tight-lipped about the incident, one physician told a Toledo-Lucas County health commissioner that a nurse had improperly disposed of the kidney.
“Human error rendered the kidney unusable,” spokesman Toby Klinger explained on Saturday. “Efforts were made to restore the kidney to a usable state, however the physician, in consultation with the family, decided to not take the risk knowing there was a good chance for another highly compatible donor.”
CBS News reports that the live kidney donor program has been temporarily suspended pending an investigation into the matter. Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs at the hospital, stated that measures are being taken to ensure this sort of scenario doesn’t occur again.
“We cannot fathom the disappointment that those impacted have experienced over the course of the last week. The university cannot begin to express the sorrow that we feel that this unfortunate incident occurred,” Gold explained to the Toledo Blade. “We apologize sincerely.”
Dr. Randall Sung, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, explained that, while doctors generally want to implant a kidney about an hour after its removal, the organ can be usable up to 48 hours after being removed. Sung told the Blade that he cannot recall a single instance where a kidney was mishandled after being taken from a live donor.
Dr. William Harmon, director of kidney transplantation at Boston Children’s Hospital, stated that this sort of situation can occur in the field. “This is unfortunately what medicine is like – it is not perfect, and there have been far worse cases where the donor has died,” he said.