A hospital in Camden, New Jersey, has admitted it performed a kidney transplant on the wrong patient Nov. 18.
When officials of Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital became aware of the incident the next day, they reported it to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the New Jersey Department of Health, Virtua Health spokesman Daniel Moise told Fox News.
The kidney was supposed to go to a patient who was higher on the donor transplant list.
The 51-year-old patient who received the kidney had a successful operation; thankfully, the kidney was a match.
If the kidney had not been a match, the patient could have died, according to KYW-TV in Philadelphia.
The correct patient received a kidney six days later; that operation was successful as well.
Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes said the mixup resulted from both patients having the same name and similar ages.
“The good news is that both individuals who were in need of a kidney received a kidney within one week of one another and both are doing well,” Moise told Fox News.
According to a news release, the medical director and the transplant coordinator of the hospital went to see the patient who was supposed to receive the kidney to apologize and offer additional support.
Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes transplanted a donated kidney into the wrong patient earlier this month, the hospital system said. https://t.co/Z12yWrP4CV
— Courier-Post (@cpsj) November 26, 2019
“We have a profound responsibility to people who literally place their lives in our hands,” Dr. Reginald Blaber, Virtua executive vice president and chief clinical officer, said in a statement, according to the New York Post.
“Mistakes of this magnitude are rare,” he said, “and despite the unusual circumstances of similar patient identities, additional verification would have prevented this error.”
Blader called it “an unprecedented event in our respected 40-plus-year transplant program.”
“As an organization committed to safety and process,” he said, “we immediately instituted additional measures and educational reinforcement to help ensure this does not happen again.”
Blader added, “Recognizing the human component of medicine, we know that taking accountability and talking about issues openly and honestly is how we learn and improve.”
According to the Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital website, it is “the only facility in southern New Jersey performing kidney, liver and pancreas transplants.”
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