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Hospital sued after kidney contamination during transplant

In a news item that may attract the interest of Massachusetts transplant patients, reports from late November said that a leading New York hospital was sued after potentially contaminating a vital organ during a delicate transplant procedure. Although a spokesperson for the care facility, Manhasset's North Shore University Hospital, claimed that it has performed at least 150 successful kidney transplant operations and denied any wrongdoing, the man who received the kidney alleged that a mid-surgery botch rendered it defective by the time he got it.

The donor, the man's wife, was discovered to be a perfect match for her husband who suffered from kidney failure. During the transplant procedure, however, surgeons told waiting family members that a drop of unknown fluid had fallen out of the ceiling and landed on the organ that had just been removed from the female patient. Staff said that they had to postpone the final stages of the transplant while they cleaned the affected tissue, and the man's surgeon malpractice lawsuit said that the organ became dysfunctional during the many-hour delay.

According to the family, the male patient still suffers from kidney failure after the 10-hour surgery. They filed their suit in New York's Supreme Court, and their lawyer said that the hospital refused to tell them where the mystery fluid came from or what it may have contained.

Surgical errors may lead to serious disabilities and long-term ailments that might be even more severe than the medical conditions the victims were originally being treated for. Insurers and hospitals may not cover the costs of successive procedures, and some care facilities even fight back by completely denying culpability. Attorneys may be able to help families pursue financial damages or offset their continuing healthcare costs by compiling evidence that supports their caregiver's liability.

Source: CBS NY, "Couple Sues North Shore University Hospital Over Contaminated Kidney", November 25, 2013

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