Tuesday, 20 Feb, 2007 Politics

Tragic Human Error Lead to Transplantation of HIV-positive Organs


Several Italian doctors have transplanted to three recipients organs that were infected by HIV. The information was provided by the hospital in Florence. The doctors from the Careggi hospital said that the liver and kidneys of an HIV-positive woman were transplanted after a laboratory biologist mistakenly wrote on a woman's medical records that she tested negative for the virus.

The chief of Careggi hospital, Edoardo Majno, confessed that there has been a tragic human error. Doctors mentioned that the woman, although being HIV-positive, didn't know she was infected with the virus and after her death, caused by a brain hemorrhage, her relatives were not against donating her organs to the people who were in need.

Majno also outlined that now there is a very high risk of virus infection for the recipients of HIV infected organs.

Considering this case the director of transplants for Tuscany (a region in Florence), Franco Filipony, stated that although this terrible human error is extremely rare, it could lead to serious consequences for those that are on a waiting list for a transplant.

The earlier reports made by the media regarding "malasanita" - malpractice, poor hygiene as well as poor safety standards in the national health system of Italy, prompted an inspection made last month nationwide to inspect all hospitals in the country. Despite this fact at least once a week the media reports on another case of "malasanita".

A month ago another case shocked Italy, when doctors removed the appendix of a 16-year old girl and did not plug into a generator the girl's ventilator. When the power in the operating room suddenly failed the girl died. The mistakes that doctors make today are highly disputed in various societies, despite this fact mistakes and errors are still present.

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