Kidney given to wrong patient at NJ hospital

Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden, N.J. (Courtesy of Virtua Health)

A New Jersey hospital says a kidney meant for one patient was mistakenly transplanted into another patient with the same name who was farther down the priority list.

Virtua Health says the Nov. 18 operation on a 51-year-old at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital was successful, but officials then discovered that the patient was transplanted out of priority order because "unusually, the individual who should have received the organ has the same name and is of similar age."

Virtua Health says the error was reported to state health officials and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, and the patient who should have received the kidney also underwent a successful transplant on Nov. 24.

Officials call the mistake "unprecedented" and say steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence.


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