Lee M. Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC
Personal Injury Law
Admitted to practice in Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and *Florida
Free Consultation
Lake Charles 337-494-5757 Baton Rouge 225-763-7777 Toll Free 855-755-5757

Louisiana hospital negligence: Nurse throws away kidney

When people in Louisiana hear the word surgery, they tend to get nervous. It might be as simple as a routine outpatient procedure or as life-threatening as a heart bypass. For one young woman, her fears came true when she was told she needed a kidney transplant. Luckily, her younger brother was a match and willing to give one of his kidneys to her. However, the nightmare began when the organ that had just been removed from her brother was thrown into the trash due to alleged hospital negligence.

The ordeal began almost a year ago when this woman was diagnosed with renal failure in its late stages. The fear of never finding a donor or being placed on a long waiting list for a match was taking its toll on her and her family. This family stuck by her, and made themselves available for numerous tests to determine if any of them was a suitable match. As luck would have it, her younger brother was a perfect match.

The first procedure to remove her brother's kidney went well. The problem started before the kidney was to be implanted. A nurse claimed that because of the amount of time that had lapsed since the organ was removed, she assumed that the patient died, and threw the kidney away. Hospital staff found the now contaminated kidney among bio waste, though it was then unusable. The hospital did aid in finding a new donor kidney and covered the travel expenses to have a new surgery take place; however, the woman was forced to endure four more dialysis related surgeries and months of waiting for a replacement kidney.

The hospital is denying any negligence on its part and is hoping the case will be dismissed despite the claims that one of the hospital's staff threw away a perfectly viable organ without first making sure it wasn't needed. However, under Louisiana law, the woman may be entitled to monetary compensation for hospital negligence. If the hospital had better safeguarding procedures for organs that are marked for transplant, this fiasco could have been avoided. Not only did the woman not get a kidney that was a perfect match, but her brother also lost a kidney, and thanks to the alleged actions of a hospital staff member, he lost it for no reason.

Source: ktbs.com, Ohio family speaks out about botched transplant, No author, Aug. 31, 2013