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UH resumes kidney transplant program after pause to implement recommendations from national group

University Hospitals.
Posted at 6:35 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 19:01:56-04

CLEVELAND — University Hospitals representatives said the hospital system has resumed the kidney transplant surgery program after taking a “voluntary, temporary” pause to implement improvements and recommendations suggested by the United Network for Organ Sharing, a group brought in to review the program after a kidney was transplanted into the wrong patient in July.

A statement sent to News 5 states that the protocols and processes they have implemented will enhance the quality of care for patients in the program.

“The actions we have taken build on more than 50 years of transplant experience and more than 3,000 kidney transplants,” the statement reads.

On Sept. 2, UH initiated a “14-day voluntary inactivation” of its kidney transplant program, days after UNOS conducted an on-site review of the program in relation to the transplantation of a kidney into the wrong patient in July, according to an internal communication obtained by News 5 earlier this month.

The document, sent to employees on Sept. 2 from UH's Chief Quality and Clinical Transformation Officer Dr. Peter Pronovost, states that for the previous two days, a team from UNOS conducted a “detailed, on-site review related to a recent error in our kidney transplant program” where they “met with multiple individuals connected to the transplant program, carefully examined the facts of the situation, as well as the changes we have made in caregiver training protocols, pre-procedural checklists, processes and other aspects of the program.”

The UNOS visit comes nearly two months after July 2, the day of the incident, when there were two kidney transplants happening at UH. The health system confirmed a kidney meant for one patient was mistakenly transplanted into the wrong person. The person who received the wrong kidney appeared to be accepting it and recovering, according to the last update from UH. Sources inside the hospital said the blood types were compatible.

RELATED: UH pauses kidney transplants for two weeks after national organization reviews July error

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