Camden: A South Jersey hospital admitted Tuesday that it recently performed a kidney transplant on the wrong patient.
The mixup occurred at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden on Nov. 18 when a 51-year-old patient on a transplant list underwent a kidney transplant, the hospital said in a statement.
The next day, a hospital staffer discovered the organ went to the wrong patient. It should have been implanted into another transplant patient with the same name and was a “similar age,” the hospital said.
The 51-year-old patient who received the transplant was lower on a list maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the hospital’s statement said.
Virtua said it reported the mistake the to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Networkand the New Jersey Department of Health, and began investigating to make sure all “safety measures were validated” and checks were made before any other transplants were performed.
The hospital then notified the two patients, and thankfully, the person who was given the transplant out of order, the 51-year-old, was indeed a match and was doing well on Tuesday, Virtua reported.
On Sunday, the person who was originally supposed to receive the transplant underwent a successful surgery and was also doing well, according to the statement.
Virtua called the mixup an “unprecedented event in our respected 40-plus-year transplant program.”
“We have a profound responsibility to people who literally place their lives in our hands,” the hospital’s statement said. “Mistakes of this magnitude are rare, and despite the unusual circumstances of similar patient identities, additional verification would have prevented this error.”
“As an organization committed to safety and process, we immediately instituted additional measures and educational reinforcement to help ensure this does not happen again,” the hospital added.