Wrong Patient Gets Kidney at USC Hospital
Blunder could have killed patients
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2011 3:21 AM CST
Updated Feb 18, 2011 6:22 AM CST
The hospital says it has temporarily shut the kidney transplant program down to add safeguards.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – USC University Hospital put its kidney transplant program on hold last month after it somehow managed to transplant a kidney into the wrong patient. Luckily for all concerned, the kidney happened to be an acceptable match for the patient, and he survived what could have been a deadly error, the Los Angeles Times reports. The patient who was supposed to receive the kidney received another one a few days later.

Such a mistake is almost inconceivable, according to a leading transplant surgeon. "The safeguards are very substantial," he says. "I can't even imagine how this mistake could have happened." The hospital blames human error for the mix-up, which happened after two kidneys from separate donors arrived at the hospital at about the same time.