Woman Infected with HIV from Organ Transplant Did Not Know Donor Was High-Risk

A woman infected with HIV and hepatitis from the kidney she received from a donor says she was not notified that her donor was high-risk. She also says that she previously turned down another donor due to his “lifestyle.”

Her attorney in Illinois asked the Cook County Circuit Court to prevent the organ procurement center and the hospital where she received her transplant from modifying or destroying any records related to her case. He claims that both the University of Chicago and the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network were aware that the kidney belonged to a patient who was at high-risk of getting HIV.

The CDC’s guidelines mandates that gay men who are sexually active should not be allowed to donate their organs unless the patient is in danger of dying immediately.

Officials at the University of Chicago claim that they followed the proper guidelines when arranging for the transplant. The woman’s attorney, however, claims that guidelines were not followed when the woman was not notified of the patient’s status and she wasn’t tested for HIV immediately after the transplant. She was also told that her donor was a healthy male.

The woman received a new kidney in January. She was diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis on November 1. Her HIV medical treatment is negatively affecting her kidneys.

Gift of Hope was also involved in the donor process of the four other patients who were diagnosed with HIV following their transplants. All four of them received their transplants from a donor who died following a traumatic brain injury. An initial HIV test on the donor had come back with a negative result.

Over 300,000 people receive transplants in the United States every year.

If you or someone you love has became injured or ill because of a medical error, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against the hospital, doctor, surgeon, medical center, or anyone else who can be held liable for causing your injuries or sickness.

Failure to follow proper procedures, failure to obtain informed consent, performing the wrong surgery, mistakes during surgery, failure to diagnose, or providing a patient with the wrong treatment are some of the many errors that can result in a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.

Chances of infection low, organ donation official says, The Jeffersonian.com, November 27, 2007
Lawyer: Woman who got HIV wasn’t told organ donor was risk, USA Today, November 16, 2007
Four Transplant Recipients Contract HIV, Hepatitis C From High-Risk Organ Donor, The Body Pro, November 14, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network

The Living Legacy Foundation, MDTransplant.org

In Maryland and Washington D.C., the medical malpractice law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen has helped many injured patients recover compensation for their injuries, medical costs, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.

Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen and ask for your free consultation today.

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