Hospital mistakenly gives kidney transplant to wrong person

CAMDEN, New Jersey -- A hospital is acknowledging a transplant mix-up, but this does have a fortunate ending.

Officials at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital say that on Nov. 18, a 51-year-old patient underwent a successful kidney transplant.

However, that organ was supposed to go to a priority patient that actually had the same name and was a similar age.

Upon becoming aware of the error, Virtua voluntarily reported it to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the New Jersey Department of Health.

The hospital says that the second patient did receive a successful transplant six days later. Both transplant patients are doing well.

The hospital released this statement on the incident:

"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.

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.

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."
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