It was a rare mistake, but one that shook the University of Toledo Medical Center to the core. In August, a patient tried to donate a kidney to a family member, instead that kidney was thrown away.
"People make mistakes but we want to be a leader in assuring that things like this do not happen again," Larry Burns, Vice President of Internal Affairs, said.
According to a report released by the Ohio Department of Health, a mix up during a lunch break led one nurse to dispose of a viable kidney. The report says that nurse was not in the room when the organ was being preserved. Burns admits there was a break down in communication, and when it comes to lunch breaks during surgery, he says he believes there is something in their contracts.
"That is a workforce situation based on the nurses and the contract they have with the University."
Both nurses are now off the job, one resigned, the other was terminated. We're expecting to learn more about the programs future in the coming weeks. That's because the Centers for Medicade and Medicare, CMS, is set to come in for an unannounced review of the hospital.
Burns says, "that is the entity that pays the bills for transplants. They will be the most analytical, they will be the most critical, sot that really is the visit and experience that will mean the most to us."
In the meantime, the focus is on moving forward, and not letting one incident take away from patient care.
"We will always regret this, we will always look at it as an extremely unfortunate incident. BUt, if it makes us better, than that will be something we can do in the future," Burns said.
He also says he expects the review to come sometime in the next 6 weeks. UTMC's deceased donor program is still up and running.