Wrong kidney transplant: New Jersey hospital Virtua Health admits to giving organ donation transplant to wrong patient

A hospital in New Jersey has admitted to mixing up two patients waiting for kidney transplants. CBS Philadelphia received a tip that a patient at Lourdes Hospital Transplant Center received a kidney transplant that was meant for another person. The hospital confirmed the mixup, which took place last week, CBS Philly reports.

The two patients have the same name and are similar in age. Both patients needed a kidney, and the first to undergo surgery successfully received one, according to hospital officials. 

However, the day after that surgery, a hospital staff member realized the patient was not supposed to receive that kidney, based on the matching organ donor list. Fortunately, the kidney did turn out to be a match; had the organ been transplanted into someone who was not a match, the result could have been deadly.

Virtua Health, which overtook the Lourdes Health System earlier this year, said the hospital voluntarily reported the incident to the New Jersey Health Department.

“This is an unprecedented event in our respected 40-plus-year transplant program,” Dr. Reginald Blaber, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Virtua Health, said in a statement. “As an organization committed to safety and process, we immediately instituted additional measures and educational reinforcement to help ensure this does not happen again.”

The 51-year-old patient who received the kidney transplant is doing well, CBS Philly reports. The other patient did end up undergoing a successful kidney transplant about a week later. 

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