The University of Toledo Medical Center has suspended its living kidney transplant program following a surgery which ended in a usable being kidney ruined.
Dr. Michael Rees, a transplant surgeon at UT who performed the surgery, was not in his office today and could not be reached for comment.
Earlier this month, Dr. Rees said UT, in partnership with his Maumee-based Alliance for Paired Donation, had landed a four-year, $2 million federal grant.
Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs at UTMC, the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital, said a kidney removed from a living donor was "rendered unusable" before being implanted into a waiting recipient. The recipient was under anesthesia in an adjoining or nearby operating room but the transplant surgery had begun.
Dr. Gold refused to say how the kidney was ruined and he refused to identify the relationship between donor and recipient. Two operating room nurses were suspended with pay after the surgery.
According to its Web site, the kidney transplant program has operated for nearly 40 years.
“Since the first kidney transplant operation was performed at The University of Toledo Medical Center in 1972, more than 1,700 kidney transplant operations have been performed, with an average patient survival rate of 98 percent and a graft survival rate of 94 percent,” the Web site states.
A letter written Monday and signed “the Department of Renal Transplant” implied something had gone awry with a transplant.
“At the University of Toledo Medical Center we are committed in our mission to improve the human condition by providing quality, patient-centered health care,” the letter said. “Recently, a process to achieve this failed, so the kidney transplant program decided to voluntarily suspend providing living kidney donor transplant services on August 10th, 2012. Please note that our deceased donor transplant program and all related services are fully operational and are actively managing our patients and families.”
The letter said the hospital could still evaluate potential candidates and living donors and provide transplant recipient follow-up care.