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Family sues after hospital throws out organ donation

Many North Carolina residents may have already heard about the medical malpractice case that occurred recently in Ohio involving a mistakenly discarded donor organ. A family has initiated a lawsuit against the University of Toledo Medical Center claiming that hospital negligence led to one of its nurses throwing away a kidney that had been donated by a 21-year-old brother to his 24-year-old sister, who was suffering from end-stage renal disease.

Although the hospital admits to the accidental disposal, it has nevertheless requested that the state of Ohio dismiss the family's lawsuit. The family is said to be undergoing a great deal of emotional anguish as a result of the incident.

A case such as this one highlights the fallibility of medical system. While the public justifiably places its trust in trained health care professionals, mistakes can and do happen, and such mistakes can have a long-term impact on those patients inflicted. Injuries that result from doctor negligence can lead to worsened conditions and increased medical expenses as victims attempt to recuperate from the additional damages sustained as a result of the mistake. Unfortunately, many of these cases even lead to permanent disability.

Malpractice claims may be complex because the evidence to support them can be illusory: Patients and their relatives may not be fully aware of what has transpired, and it can sometimes be problematic to distinguish malpractice symptoms from the legally legitimate consequences resulting from a patient's medical condition. An experienced malpractice lawyer may be able to investigate hospital policies and government regulations to ensure that a patient's treatment conforms to those practices. Additionally, if malpractice is suspected, an attorney can solicit testimony from any available witnesses and evaluate hospital records to confirm the presence of negligence.

Source: Investor Place, "Hospital Denies Negligence in Throwing Out Donor Kidney", Karl Utermohlen, August 30, 2013

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