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Ohio Nurse Accidentally Disposes of Kidney in Trash

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Aug 26, 2012 07:29 AM EDT

A nurse in Ohio threw away a kidney removed from a Toledo man in the trash and rendered it unusable, according to a report from health officials at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

The kidney received from a living donor was thrown away with other medical waste in the trash, but was found an hour or more later. Doctors at the hospital tried to give a new life to the kidney, but decided not to use it considering the risks involved in using it as it was thrown away improperly.

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The health officials tendered an apology for the incident, in what is termed as a rare occurrence by the officials as kidney programs have safe measures during transplantation. The hospital has suspended its live kidney donor program pending an investigation into the incident and find out ways to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

"We cannot fathom the disappointment that those impacted have experienced over the course of the last week. The University cannot begin to express the sorrow that we feel that this unfortunate incident occurred. We apologize sincerely," Dr. Jeffery P. Gold, University of Toledo chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine, said in a statement, according to abcNews.

Two operating-room staff nurses have been placed on paid administrative leave until the probe gets over. "[We are] in the process of assessing how this situation occurred and we are committed to ensuring safeguards are put in place to prevent such an incident from ever happening again," Gold said.

According to reports, David Grossman, a Toledo-Lucas County health commissioner, told Blade newspaper in Toledo that a man had donated his kidney to his sister. After the incident both of them have been discharged from the hospital.

Kidney is one of the most commonly transplanted organs in the United States. According to United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 16,816 kidneys were transplanted from live donors and those willing to donate after their death to recipients last year. In particular there were 648 kidney transplants in Ohio last year, reported toledoblade.com.

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