Medical negligence infected kidney transplant, are the words you do not want to hear after being on the waiting list for a kidney transplant.
Sadly though, a man from the northwest of England underwent a kidney transplant in 2010 and soon thereafter developed cancer. At the time of the transplant, the female donor was screened for disease and was found to be healthy but a postmortem carried out showed that that she had been suffering from blood cancer lymphoma. This news relayed to the man six days after a successful series of operations.
Since that time, he has had to undergo chemotherapy and claims that he was left psychologically scarred from the error in communications. He said that the past few years have been very stressful as he decided to keep the kidneys that were donated to him, making his fight against cancer more difficult with an immune system weakened by the organ transplant surgery. He added that having won a six-figure claim against the hospital in which the operation was performed will help him to rebuild his life.
The man had been on the list for a kidney transplant after he had kidney disease for five years. Originally his sister had volunteered to donate one of her kidneys but the man decided to go with a kidney from a deceased donor. It is unfortunate, his solicitor commented, that the organ which was donated gave him cancer which has taken an enormous toll. His experience as a medical negligence solicitor has been that this type of error rarely occurs but had there been proper monitoring, training and communication, the incident could have been avoided.
The man has shown a great deal of dignity throughout the years and still speaks in support of organ donation. He fully believes in the important work of organ transplant services and is grateful to the family that enabled the woman’s kidney to be put on the transplant list. However, he does hope that lessons have been learned from this case and that the system will become safer with additional training and support for the medical staff involved in transplants.
According to the hospital, human error was the cause for this incident and an electronic system is now used for recording and keeping information about donors. There has also been a review of training of specialist nurses and supervision of trainees.
The chief executive of the hospital has made apologies to the man and hopes that the settlement will make it possible to move on from this unfortunate incident. The chief executive added that the hospital has learned from the incident and has made changes as a direct result of the case. It is reviewing all its processes and guidance and sharing amongst its community what it has learned.
It would be unfortunate if someone else had to go through the same ordeal and so is making sure that all organs which are donated are suitable for transplant. More often than not this is the case, but in the future there will be better communications between the patient and the surgeon about the risks and benefits, the chief executive added.
Sadly, cases like this are being heard more and more. If you suffer from medical negligence, seek help.