Patient claims Illinois hospital transplanted cancerous organ

Organ transplants are complex and sometimes risky surgeries. But when a transplant is performed correctly, a patient’s health could improve significantly. In some cases, an organ transplant may even help to save a patient’s life in Will County.

In 2008, one patient decided that the benefits of a pancreas transplant would far outweigh the risks of the surgery. Pancreas transplants are often recommended by medical professionals when a patient suffers severe complications from diabetes. It has been four years since the patient underwent surgery in an Illinois hospital to receive the donated organ. She is now filing a medical malpracticelawsuit against the hospital and the organization she received the donated pancreas through. The woman believes that the donated pancreas caused her to develop cancer.

The patient claims that the University of Chicago Hospital and the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network were negligent by failing to thoroughly screen the organ’s donor and the pancreas for cancer.

The defendants named in the lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week, claim that donors are screened for cancer amongst other diseases including HIV and hepatitis in order to ensure that donated organs are healthy. However, there are instances in which time constraints due to a patient’s health might prevent thorough testing.

Medical professionals have noted that one risk of an organ transplant is cancer. But this risk is also very rare. Because the risk of developing cancer as a result of an organ transplant is rare, it is possible that the pancreas was infected before the patient received the organ. The woman’s lawsuit contends that she might have never developed cancer had the organ and donor been thoroughly screened for the disease prior to surgery. Instead, she is now forced to deal with a whole new set of health complications.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Woman files lawsuit charging transplanted organ was cancerous,” Kim Janssen, July 11, 2012


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