AP News is reporting a quite bizarre medical malpractice story. A man received a transplanted kidney from a woman who had uterine cancer and was unaware of it. He was not told that there was cancer within the kidney until almost two months after the transplant. The man decided to keep the kidney after his doctor advised him that there was only a slim chance that he could be sickened by the feminine cancer. His lawyer stated that this advice is what caused the man to lose his life. The man had previously been on three-times-a-week dialysis and had been awaiting a kidney for about five years.
The medical malpractice case has gone to trial and the plaintiff is arguing that the doctor took a huge risk with the victim’s life. Though the post-op tests found nothing, the victim suffered back pain and ultimately had the kidney removed six months after the transplant. The victim died about three weeks later of the cancer that came from his donor. The widow of the victim is seeking more than $3 million in damages in her medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. This transplant error trial is currently being conducted.
Statistics show that around 23 out of 28,000 transplants in 2007 were judged to have some sort of cancer, HIV, tuberculosis or another disease. Twelve of these patients did die. While donors are always screened for various diseases, those with active cancers are generally eliminated from consideration. However, some are not detected in the very short time from in which transplants are conducted. It is heartbreaking to hear that some people receive what are supposed to be life-saving transplants and instead become victims of different diseases. Transplant teams must be extremely careful to ensure that every organ transplanted is free from diseases. To read more about this transplant error, please click the link.