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Hospital Nearly Harvested Organs From Living Patient

In 2009, a young woman was admitted to a New York hospital after overdosing on a combination of pharmaceutical drugs. Despite showing signs of life, such as curling her toes and demonstrating resistance to being placed on a ventilator, the patient was declared dead and the hospital staff prepared to remove her organs for donation to needy patients.

In a seemingly last-ditch effort to save her life from medical negligence, the woman opened her eyes as the surgeon prepared to make the first incision. She was rushed out of the operating room (OR) and put on a course of overdose treatment that staff failed to previously administer. The young patient eventually recovered from her comatose state.

The hospital, which was fined for its negligence, wasn't able to convincingly explain how such a disastrous series of emergency room (ER) errors occurred. The blunder involved charting errors, diagnosis mistakes and miscommunication among staff. It makes one wonder, how often do these mistakes occur but go undetected, and a patient is wrongly killed?

University of Toledo recently disposed of a healthy donor kidney. The kidney had just been removed from the needy patient's sibling in a scheduled procedure.

While successful donor operations carry a seemingly miraculous quality, we sometimes forget that botched donor surgeries do occur. If you or a loved one is the victim of a surgical error, an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney can help you assess your case.

Source: CBS News, "Hospital Errors Lead To 'Dead' Patient Opening Eyes During Organ Harvesting," Michelle Castillo, July 9, 2013

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