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Couple sues New York hospital for alleged kidney contamination

North Shore University Hospital, east of Queens, has a stellar reputation in terms of quality services, knowledge and care of patients. The hospital is facing controversy, however, following a failed kidney transplant.

A New York couple has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against North Shore over a kidney transplant that went wrong when an organ to be transplanted was allegedly contaminated.

In late March 2011, a 44-year-old woman who turned out to be a perfect match for her ailing 43-year-old husband underwent an operation to remove a kidney for transplantation into her husband, who was suffering from kidney disease.

According to their suit, the hospital's director of kidney transplants said an unidentified fluid dripped onto the removed kidney before it could be transplanted. Doctors allegedly did not transplant the kidney as soon as they should have.

The plaintiffs' lawyers allege that when the husband finally received the kidney, it barely functioned and that the man was no better off. The couple claims that the hospital was negligent for allowing the kidney to be possibly contaminated and for the failed operation. Their lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering, the cost of all medical bills and lost wages.

The husband still has kidney disease and his wife has one healthy kidney.

North Shore University Hospital denies the allegations and maintains there was no contamination. The director of kidney transplants did not identify what the liquid might have been or its origins.

A surgical operation gone wrong is devastating for a patient, particularly if a successful operation would likely save the patient's life or solve a medical condition or problem. Hospitals are responsible for maintaining hazard-free facilities that will not result in contamination. If hospital acquired-infections or contamination occurs, the patient may hold negligent parties accountable by means of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: Long Island Newsday, "Couple's lawsuit says hospital error ruined kidney," Delthia Ricks, Nov. 23, 2013

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