UTMC kidney transplant program back on the table

UTMC will resume its live kidney transplant program after a botched surgery suspended operations in August.

Updated, 11:55 a.m.

Four months after the accidental disposal of a kidney during surgery lead to the suspension of the University of Toledo Medical Center's live kidney transplant program, hospital officials announced Tuesday that operations will resume after receiving several reviews from national accrediting bodies and an intense self-evaluation.

"Today we complete the next step in a difficult journey, but one that I think has unquestionably made us a stronger, safer hospital,â?? said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

"Ultimately, we found what I believed we would find â?? that UTMCâ??s renal transplant program is one of the oldest and most successful in the nation, and that this incident was the result of an accidental and inexplicable human error. We have put new policies and technology in place to eliminate the possibility that this error is ever repeated," he continued.

Shortly after the incident, UTMC established new safety policies and purchased equipment that would alert staff to the location of a transplant organ at all times in the operating room.

Established in 1972, UTMC's renal transplant program has performed more than 1,700 transplants and has a 98 percent success rate â?? one of the best in the nation, according to the hospital.

"Every hospital works to avoid these occurrences, but when they happen, academic medical centers especially have an obligation to share what happened with the medical community so all can learn and improve," UT President Lloyd Jacobs said. "I regret that this incident took place, but Iâ??m proud of the role UTMC took in working to eliminate the chances that this could happen at any hospital in the future."

Original report:

University of Toledo Medical Center officials will discuss new developments in the living donor kidney transplant program on Tuesday morning.

UTMC representative Jon Strunk confirmed that the program's revitalization will be discussed during a press conference at 11 a.m. The program was suspended after the accidental disposal of a live kidney during a surgery on Aug. 10.

In October, UTMC purchased new machines aimed at improving safety procedures, including a motion detector to alert staff when anyone touches the organ storage unit.

Stay tuned for updates.