A sister agreed to donate her kidney to her brother at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. As they were getting her ready to harvest the kidney, her aorta was cut. The sister bled to death before the team had an opportunity to remove the kidney and transplant it into her brother.
Just a tragedy.
The key question in a case like this is whether cutting the aorta during the course of harvesting the donor's kidney is a known recognized risk of the procedure.
Most people would argue that this should never occur. You would think that a doctor would know to stay away from the largest blood vessel in the entire body. However, it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and to simply read the news reports and to listen to this tragedy unfold with speculation and with missing pieces of information.
The reality is that there are instances where adjacent organs, arteries, veins and tissues can be injured during the course of surgery.
The key question is often whether the surgeon is able to timely recognize, diagnose and treat such a dramatic problem.
Since the aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, there is the potential the patient will bleed to death if this condition is not immediately recognized or if the damage is originally so severe that it cannot be repaired.
The news reports reflect that the patient did in fact bleed to death before the kidney was harvested.
Watch the video to learn more.