Hospital transplants kidney into wrong patient, right patient forced to wait

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

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Virtua Health says the Nov. 18 operation on a 51-year-old patient at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden was successful.

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But officials then discovered the patient was given the kidney 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.

The patient who should have received the kidney also underwent a successful transplant on Nov. 24.

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Officials say steps have been taken to prevent it from happening again.