The University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio suspended two operating-room staff nurses earlier this month after one of them accidentally threw away a donated kidney, rendering it unusable.
Doctors would not say how the organ ended up in the trash along with other medical waste, but blamed the incident on "human error."
According to UTMC chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Gold, the kidney, which had been donated by a Toledo man and intended for his older sister, was recovered and a two-hour resuscitation attempt was made, but the family opted not to risk it "knowing there was a good chance for another highly compatible donor."
The ruined kidney was said to have been a "perfect match."
UTMC has since suspended its kidney transplant program and is currently conducting an internal review of the incident. Two additional agencies — the United Network for Organ Sharing and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — may also contribute to the investigation, or else conduct and investigation of their own.
Meanwhile, the donor and his sister have been released from the hospital. It remains unclear when a second transplant attempt might take place.
[photo via Facebook]