Live-Donor Liver Transplant Program Suspended At UPMC

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The live-donor liver transplant program has reportedly been halted at UPMC.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the health system suspended has the program as a precautionary measure.

Earlier this month, UPMC also temporarily suspended its living kidney donor program because of a case involving hepatitis C.

On May 11, Paul Wood, the vice president of public relations for UPMC, said, “This involved one case, one isolated case of a donor kidney that turned out to be from a donor that was hepatitis C positive.”

A person with hepatitis C can donate a kidney, but only if the recipient has hepatitis C.

The Tribune Review is also reporting that UPMC has disciplined two employees, suspending a nurse and demoting a doctor in the case.

The hospital says it has shut down the live liver transplant program now as well out of an abundance of caution and while procedures are reviewed.

Tribune Review: “UPMC halts ‘live’ liver transplants”
UPMC Temporarily Suspends Living Donor Program
More Local News

  • Kevin

    Go to AGH!

  • John

    So, the Mighty UPMC is not all it is cranked up to be!!!!!!!!!
    There is another health care system in Pittsburgh _ West Penn Allegheny. Give it a try. You will like what you see.

  • Rachel

    does administration share any of the blame? This was an unfortunate situation, however , those who are in a leadership position do little to support the staff who are doing the actual work. It all comes done to numbers and public image. The hospitals today are being run by business people, not by those who know the most about patient care and needs. I have witnessed UPMC crucify many doctors and nurses who are competent and talented professionals. One story that comes to mind is the Radiology Oncologist who sued them for blackballing her. She won the case, but told them she would drop the suit if they did not blackball her. They turned down her offer – just because they are big, bad UPMC. I would never work there and I would never use their services.

    • Big Money

      I agree…..They just don’t want to get their a$$es sued

  • Lisa M

    Just goes to show why we can’t have UPMC be the only major medical center in pittsburgh. Allegheny General Hospital has an excellent transplant program. My uncle had a liver transplant there last year.

  • Ray

    From my stand point Dr’s are human and there is always human error and these UPMC Doc’s have saved thousand’s of lives. I know this because I am one of them with 2 liver transplants. My previous hospital did not have the protocol and experience to do many transplants let alone 2 on one person. The care I received was excellent and I have no doubt that I would have died if it were not for the expertise at UPMC. I wish more hospitals in the U.S. were like UPMC.

  • theresa

    The details of this case is certainly very disturbing and definetly in need of investigation in order to correct the procedures that were not in place or followed. However, having received a liver transplant from the excellent medical staff at UPMC, it disturbs me the level of criticism focused on the entire program. I received my liver almost 1 year ago and have had nothing but the best follow-up care. My heart aches for those patients waiting for their surgery that is now put on hold. I simply sincerely hope that this issue is resolved soon so that the people who are really affected by this get the care they need.

  • drdave

    Successful survivors of major treatments are always (and understandably) grateful to the hospital and care providers for “saving their lives”. That strong sense of appreciation and gratitude is often what makes healthcare professionals try to do our best. Of course patients rarely have had the opportunity to know the “behind he scenes” issues in play–often they can only relate to the fact that people were “professional” and that they, fortunately, had a good outcome. Unfortunately, there are many disturbing stories from UPMC patients and staff to indicate that the working environment and underlying philosophy need considerable attention. Many feel, appropriately in my opinion, that profit and dominant market share drive management far beyond quality patient care.and employee satisfaction. The health insurers are equally profit driven(despite their nonprofit tax status). Despite efforts to dismiss this present incident as a fluke that will be discretely addressed, it begs the larger question that if the UPMC transplant service, which is touted so highly, can make such egregious errors in their “protocol”, what is happening throughout the remainder of the health system as far as attention to critical laboratory and clinical decision-making information? There are numerically more “life and death” daily issues throughout the “system” than there are in the transplant service. This gives the promotional phrase “choose a health system as if your life depended on it” new meaning. When these errors surface, as “rare” as they may be, it does not exactly encourage me, my family or friends to rush to UPMC for serious care. There are, in fact, excellent alternatives. Patients in W. PA should expect nothing less than the best.

  • hepcadvocate

    This is so unfortunate as Hepatitis C is highly detectable. Definitely negligence. However, it is a shame that this has impacted the living donor liver program. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplantation–most likely the candidates for this operation ALREADY HAVE HEPATITIS C, and as this article correctly points out, people who have hepatitis can donate to others with the same virus.

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