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Published: Friday, 8/31/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago


Doctor loses director title after botched transplant

Dr. Michael Rees Dr. Michael Rees

The University of Toledo Medical Center kidney transplant surgeon at the center of an investigation into a botched surgery has temporarily lost his director title -- at least until the investigation is completed, hospital officials said.

Dr. Michael Rees, surgical director of renal transplantation and assistant director of the transplantation immunology laboratories services, will be replaced by Dr. Steve Selman, chairman of the department of urology. Dr. Rees is still a surgeon at the medical center.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs at UTMC, said the change does not suggest Dr. Rees did anything wrong.

"It is just until we can reach a conclusion," Dr. Gold said.

Tobin Klinger, UTMC spokesman, compared the change in directorship to a police officer being put on suspension after being involved in a shooting.

Three UTMC employees have been suspended with pay for their involvement in a surgery this month that went awry when a viable kidney was thrown away into a pool of other medical waste instead of being transplanted into the donor's sister.

Edwin Hall, administrator of surgical services, was notified Monday that he would be on "paid administrative leave." Two nurses involved in the surgery, Melanie Lemay, a full-time employee, and Judith Moore, a part-time employee, also have been suspended with pay pending the results of a multiagency investigation.

The UTMC live kidney donation program was voluntarily suspended after the incident.

Dr. Marlon Levy, surgical director, transplantation, at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth, arrived Thursday night and is to spend today at the hospital. He is being paid $2,500 to "review the policies, procedures, and practices of UTMC's living related donor program" and to review management of patients undergoing living related transplants.

The kidney transplant program at UTMC, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, has operated for 40 years. It is the only organ transplant routinely performed at the hospital.

The woman who was supposed to have received her brother's kidney has still not received a transplant, Dr. Gold said. The family of the woman has declined interview requests and has asked UTMC for privacy.

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