UTMC reinstates live donor kidney program - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

UTMC reinstates live donor kidney program

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

The University of Toledo Medical Center plans to use a medical mishap as a tool for teaching across the country.  The university announced its live donor kidney program has been reinstated after a viable kidney was tossed out in August.  Now school leaders are planning to help other hospitals prevent future problems.

It was a short email giving them the green light.  That email came from the United Network for Organ Sharing and says it approves the activation of the live donor program.  School officials says the teaching from this mishap is just beginning.

"We were guardedly optimistic that we would get positive news and it was very reaffirming," said UTMC Provost Dr. Jeffrey Gold. 

It's a reaffirming that the live donor kidney program is back up and running after that botched transplant in March.

A brother was trying to give his sister a kidney.  An investigation found that a mix-up and miscommunication between nurses after a lunch break resulted in a viable kidney being thrown away.

"This has become a pretty broad effort for us and I think a lot of attention has been placed on it and a lot of good policy, procedure, technology continues to grow out of it," said Dr. Gold.    

Logistics for the next transplant are being worked out.  13abc is told donors and recipients are being contacted.  The university is planning to use its story to hopefully prevent anything like this from happening again.

"We are looking at the long term implications of this and using it as a way to not only focus our own medical center on the broader aspects of patient safety, but also looking to uplift the entire transplant community," said Dr. Gold. 

Already a prototype, equipped with warning signals when an organ is removed, has been developed by the school and an education forum is planned to teach medical professionals how to avoid this kind of thing.  Doctor Gold knows that kidney can never be replaced but says it's time to use this as a teaching tool. 

"This is an opportunity to see if there's anything that can be done to make health care safer in our region and across the country," said Dr. Gold. 

13abc asked if that female patient has received a kidney yet.  Dr. Gold cited privacy issues and said he could not comment on that.  He did say they are in close contact with the family.  He also added that they enjoy the family's trust while continuing to earn it.

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