“We have offered our sincerest apologies to these patients and their families,” University Hospitals in Cleveland spokesperson George Stamatis said in a statement. “We recognize they entrusted us with their care. The situation is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to helping patients return to health and live life to the fullest.”
The kidney given to the wrong patient is compatible and the recipient is expected to recover, the hospital said. The surgery for the intended recipient has been delayed. Officials did not say if another kidney was available. No additional details were released about the patients.
While it fluctuates, the average time spent on the kidney waitlist can be five to 10 years, according to UCLA Health, and there are more than 100,000 patients on the list in the U.S.
Patients can shorten their wait through a living donation from a compatible relative or friend.
Stamatis continued, “The University Hospitals Transplant Program is comprised of a highly qualified, multidisciplinary team of experts with decades of transplant care delivery and research experience. We are dismayed that an error recently occurred resulting in one patient receiving a kidney intended for another,” WOIO-TV in Cleveland reported.
The hospital said officials were carefully reviewing the incident to make sure it never happens again. The mistake happened on July 2, according to WKYC-TV in Cleveland.
Officials have notified the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that manages the national organ transplant system, of the incident.
Heather Mekesa, the COO of an organ procurement organization in northeast Ohio, told WKYC that type of mistake is rare.
“This is not the norm, I’d say 99.99 percent of the time, everything does go well,” she told the station. “In the last two decades, this has not occurred in Ohio. This was a very unfortunate and not a great incident to occur but it shouldn’t deter people who want to help others through the gift of organ donation.”
The hospital did not immediately return Fox News’ after-hours request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.