Medical malpractice claims can involve an overwhelming amount of technical details and scrutiny of medical-specific procedures. In some cases, the negligence or recklessness that contributed to an adverse health event or misdiagnosis takes legal and medical knowledge to prove.
In other cases, a medical mistake is obvious and egregious.
Organ donation gone wrong
For instance, a Midwest hospital is now under fire after doctors put the wrong kidney in the wrong patient.
According to reports, the hospital had two kidney transplants occurring on the same day. During the first operation, the patient received a kidney meant for someone else. Thankfully for the first person, the transplant was successful, and the patient seems to be accepting the kidney because of compatible blood types.
However, during the second surgery, doctors discovered they had the wrong kidney and could not transplant it into the second patient. That person had to go back on the waiting list.
The hospital will not yet disclose how the mistake happened or which caregivers were responsible for the mix-up. However, depending on the results of an investigation, one or both patients may take legal action against any negligent parties.
How do these mistakes happen?
Despite the numerous checks and protocols in place to prevent mistakes involving organs for transplant, errors like this can and do happen.
In some cases, mix-ups occur because patients have similar names or appearances. In other cases, mistakes with labeling, storage or recordkeeping result in erroneous organ transplantation. There is also the potential that doctors or other parties involved in the transplant are impaired, untrained or otherwise unfit to perform the procedure.
These medical errors may be rare, but they are often catastrophic. Patients receiving the wrong organ can experience rejection, infection and other consequences that can be fatal. And those who do recover typically wind up back on the waiting list to receive the proper organ.
Thus, the hospitals, doctors and nurses performing these procedures must strictly comply with medical standards and practices. Failure to do so can result in patient injury, loss of license and legal action.