Woman Is First Live Kidney Donor to Die in History of Organ Donor Program
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2012 - Case of surgery gone wrong results in medical malpractice suit.
“I’ve seen a lot of strange cases in my medical malpractice career,” said Christopher Mellino, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer with Mellino Robenalt LLC, in Ohio. “However, this one is so fraught with errors, delays and red tape, it beats all the rest. A desperately ill man waiting for a kidney transplant has gone through hell and back, lived through the death of his sister and had his hopes crushed more than once while waiting for the call that will save his life.”
The man’s sister had agreed to donate her kidney to him when the unthinkable happened: her aorta was cut during the surgery to harvest her kidney. Medical malpractice? “Indeed it is, and it is likely the family, despite the ongoing wait for a kidney for their relative, will seek legal counsel about filing a medical negligence lawsuit,” Mellino added.
The man was put back on the wait list and received a call that he would get his transplant in June. His surgery was cancelled at the last minute. The reason for the hold up? “It turned out those in charge of the organ donor process didn’t get the mandatory approval to give him a kidney on an expedited basis,” explained Mellino.
The behind-the-scenes reason for trying to give the man his kidney as quickly as possible was in response to the sudden death of his sister, the first live kidney donor to die in the 40-year history of the organ donor program. The hospital where the man waits for his transplant was hoping to expedite the surgery out of compassion for his loss. The other issue is that proceeding with the operation that quickly would have boosted the man to the top of the kidney-recipient waiting list, something which others on the list would take issue. And finally, while a nice gesture on the part of the hospital, the man was never told authorization was required for the surgery.
“Often medical malpractice may not be as clear as it was in this case, and for this reason, it is a good idea for patients who feel they have been the victim of medical malpractice to find out if they have a case or not. While not all bad outcomes involving a doctor qualify as medical malpractice, don’t second guess whether your case is one of those. Seek an expert’s advice,” suggested Mellino.
Mellino Robenalt LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901
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