On February 18, 2011, according to the Los Angeles Times, the University of Southern California Hospital halted its kidney transplants after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient. Luckily, the patient who received the wrong kidney escaped substantial harm and possibly death because the kidney just so happened to be an acceptable match.
According to the article, USC Hospital performs about two transplants a week, which means there are a little over a 100 kidney transplants in a given year. Dr. Goran Klintmalm, a veteran surgeon at Baylor Regional Transplant Institute in Dallas, was quoted as saying that such a mistake is almost inconceivable. “The safeguards are very substantial,” he said. “I can’t even imagine how this mistake could have happened.”
According to a 2000 study by the American Heart Association, medical errors cost tens of thousands of lives in hospitals across the United States each year – more than deaths from highway accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS combined. Studies have put the numbers of deaths at over 98,000 annually in hospitals.
For more information, or if you or a loved one, have been injured as the result of medical malpractice in California, please contact the experienced lawyers at Mulligan, Banham & Findley. Our telephone number is 619-238-8700.