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USC Hospital to conclude transplant review

February 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
USC University Hospital is expected to finish a review of its kidney transplant program Friday after a patient reportedly received the wrong kidney.

The hospital temporarily shut down its kidney transplant program after the mix-up. The patient was not harmed, apparently because the kidney was a close enough match.

However, the mistake has led the hospital to voluntarily stop the transplant program.

The mistake was apparently a human error that occurred in the operating room in January.

The hospital has been conducting a review of clinical procedures and safeguards since shutting down, and the review is expected to be complete by Friday.

OneLegacy, the agency that procures the organs for the hospital and tracks the results of each operation, said there were two patients in the operating room awaiting the same Type-O kidney on Jan. 29.

Unfortunately, the kidney destined for patient A was transplanted into patient B, a potentially deadly mistake. Since all transplant procedures have been halted since the error, all patients waiting for transplants will have to continue to wait.

"It's actually panic and frustration because you're thinking, 'I have to go to another hospital. Will I have to go to another hospital? I'll have to start the whole evaluation process again.' It's time consuming," said Marilyn Comas, who is on the kidney transplant list.

USC University Hospital released the following statement:

"No patient was harmed. However, as patient safety is the hospital's No. 1 concern, the hospital inactivated the program while clinical protocols are assessed and additional safeguards to the kidney transplant program are developed."

The hospital may consider resuming transplants as early as next week.