A hospital in New Jersey gave a kidney to the wrong patient during a transplant last week.
Luckily, it appears that the mistake didn’t have tragic results.
According to Philadelphia’s ABC-affiliate WPVI-TV, officials at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital said the 51-year-old patient’s kidney transplant was successful after the Nov. 18 surgery.
That organ was actually meant for a priority patient with the same name of a similar age.
WPVI reported that Virtua voluntarily reported the error to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the New Jersey Department of Health.
The other patient did receive a successful transplant six days later. Both patients are doing well, the station reported.
In a statement to WPVI, the hospital called the mistake an “unprecedented event.”
“We have a profound responsibility to people who literally place their lives in our hands. Mistakes of this magnitude are rare, and despite the unusual circumstances of similar patient identities, additional verification would have prevented this error,” the statement said.
“This is an unprecedented event in our respected 40-plus-year transplant program. 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 statement added. “As an organization with a focus on being here for good, we remain steadfast in doing the right thing and caring for the affected patients and their families. Recognizing the human component of medicine, we know that taking accountability and talking about issues openly and honestly is how we learn and improve.”