Woman Dies While Donating Kidney to Relative
Montefiore Hospital in New York voluntarily suspended its live donor organ transplant program after a woman who was trying to donate a kidney to a relative died during an operation, according to a hospital source.
The voluntary move by the hospital has drawn attention to the possible dangers of living organ donation, and some experts say the case may dissuade some who are contemplating becoming a live donor to follow through.
The incident, which is now under investigation by the state health department, is the first live donor operation death to occur at the hospital, according to hospital sources.
"The patient experienced a rare complication of this surgery," according to a spokeswoman for the hospital, who would not confirm details of the case. "The doctors recognized the problem and took extensive steps to save the patient's life."
More than 900 people nationwide have participated as living donors since January 2012, according to data by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
Organ donation registries and transplant centers often see a spike in cases after campaigns launched to persuade people to become an organ donor.
"[Live organ donation] is incredibly important because there are not enough cadaver organs to go around," said Dr. Jonathan Bromberg, chief of the division of transplantation at the University of Maryland. "Live organ donations allow us to save more lives."
Bromberg said however rare a fatal complication may be, the number of willing donors plummet when people hear about cases where a transplant goes wrong.