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UH transplant patient receives kidney intended for another, hospital official confirms

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 22:10:59-04

CLEVELAND — Two University Hospitals caregivers are on administrative leave after a transplant patient received a kidney that was intended for a different patient, hospital officials confirmed in a statement to News 5 on Monday.

“We are dismayed that an error recently occurred resulting in one patient receiving a kidney intended for another,” stated George Stamatis, UH’s Senior Media Relations Strategist. “The kidney is compatible and the patient is recovering as expected. Another patient’s transplant surgery has been delayed.”

UH representatives confirmed to News 5 that the kidney mix-up involving two patients happened on July 2.

UH has notified the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that manages the national organ transplant system, Stamatis said. The hospital is also reviewing this situation to understand what led to the error and to ensure such an error does not happen again.

The two caregivers are on leave pending the determinations of the hospital’s investigation.

“We have offered our sincerest apologies to these patients and their families,” Stamatis said. “We recognize they entrusted us with their care. The situation is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to helping patients return to health and live life to the fullest.”

Since 1988, University Hospitals has performed 2,761 kidney transplants, including 95 so far in 2021 and 194 in 2020, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

UH representatives declined an on-camera interview. Since receiving the statement from UH, News 5 has followed up, asking who the involved caregivers are, what the response from the United Network for Organ Sharing has been, and requesting details on the next steps in UH's investigation.

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