Cleveland, OH

Wrong patient gets kidney transplant at Cleveland hospital; Officials review incident as two employees placed on leave

Muna Hassan
Hospital staff perform a surgery.Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

A kidney transplant was given to the wrong patient at University Hospitals in Cleveland earlier this month.

Two employees have been placed on administrative leave following the incident.

The recipient of the new kidney is expected to recover, with the kidney being compatible, according to the hospital. It is unclear whether there is another kidney available for the intended patient.

"We have offered our sincerest apologies to these patients and their families," George Stamatis, spokesperson from University Hospitals in Cleveland, said.

"We recognize they entrusted us with their care," he went on. "The situation is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to helping patients return to health and live life to the fullest."

Officials are doing a review of the incident to ensure a similar situation does not occur again.

"This is not the norm, I'd say 99.99 percent of the time, everything does go well," according to Heather Mekesa, COO of an organ transplant procurement organization in Ohio.

"In the last two decades, this has not occurred in Ohio. This was a very unfortunate and not a great incident to occur but it shouldn't deter people who want to help others through the gift of organ donation."
Instruments in an operating room sit on a table.Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Kidney transplants in the U.S.

There are currently more than 100,000 people on the waitlist to receive a kidney transplant in the U.S.

While the length of time spent on the waitlist can vary, a patient is on the list for, on average, five to 10 years before getting a transplant.

This time can be shortened if patients are able to get a living donation from a relative or friend who is deemed compatible.

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Muna has been a journalist and fitness professional for more than 10 years. With degrees in exercise science and dietetics, Muna focuses on informing people about how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Muna is the owner of Body and Mind by Muna, an online gym for at-home workouts, as well as MuslimahFit, a fitness app for women.


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