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Medical malpractice claim filed over donated organ

Hundreds of thousands of patients across the country, including some living in Maryland, spend a significant amount of time waiting for a much-needed organ transplant. These surgeries, if performed under the right circumstances and in an appropriate time frame, can be life-saving. Many family members who are considered an appropriate match for transplant are generally willing to provide the necessary organ tissue. However, if the transplant fails to save the patient's life, questions may arise regarding the surgery, which could lead to claims of medical malpractice.

In another state, a woman has filed a claim against a physician who allegedly performed a kidney transplant on the complainant's grandmother, who supposedly had terminal cancer at the time. According the lawsuit, the 31-year-old woman donated one of her kidneys in order to benefit the health of her grandmother. Approximately one month before the surgery, a CAT scan was completed and supposedly showed irregularities that may have indicated a certain type of cancer. Despite CAT scan findings, the transplant was still performed as scheduled.

The complainant's grandmother passed away almost a year after the transplant surgery from a form of terminal cancer. The legal complaint against the physician alleges that the kidney was needlessly donated, as the cancer was not properly diagnosed. The claimant asserts that she endured unnecessary medical expenses, physical pain and lost wages due to the operation required to donate her kidney. She is seeking unspecified damages.

Organ donations like this one typically require major surgery for the person donating the organ. While the intent to help is always good, this can come at a significant financial and physical cost. If the transplant fails, or if other medical issues are found to negate the benefits of a transplant, it is completely understandable for the organ donor to question the details of the procedure. If a procedure like this is believed to have been unnecessarily performed, a medical malpractice claim can be commenced in a Maryland civil court against the medical staff and/or facility considered responsible for any possible medical negligence.

Source: wacotrib.com, "Granddaughter who donated kidney files malpractice suit", Tommy Witherspoon, Aug. 9, 2014

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