17 y/o girl who received wrong organs gets a second chance - page 2

DURHAM, N.C. (Feb. 20) - Doctors located an organ donor early Thursday for a 17-year-old girl clinging to life after she received a heart and lungs that didn't match her blood type, a spokeswoman... Read More

  1. by   sjoe
    KC writes: "My thoughts are with her and her family!"

    So were mine...at first. Then the mother said that she wants the doctor involved to spend time in jail.

    Who paid for the first operation? For its extended preparation phase? The second operation? For the two or three years the family spent in the US, waiting? The mother? The family? Apparently not, yet the mother wants the doc put in jail. Who begged these people to come up to this country and have this operation? Who promised them perfection or surgery without any risk? (According to the Associated Press, they were all smuggled in illegally and were staying with a relative.) What would the patient have been like had they stayed at home? What would her life expectancy be? (According to the AP, about 6 months.)

    Who do these people think they are, anyway? One more crew of "entitled" people that I can well do without.
    Last edit by sjoe on Feb 21, '03
  2. by   Q.
    Originally posted by sjoe
    KC writes: "My thoughts are with her and her family!"

    So were mine...at first. Then the mother said that she wants the doctor involved to spend time in jail.

    Whoa. I missed that.
    I thought the error was deemed a "clerical" error somewhere, not necessarily the fault of the medical staff who did the cross-check.
    I don't believe in criminal punishment for medical malpractice. This would sent a horrible precedent.

    Also, the good doctor is okay to be out of jail to put in the new organs, but not after? Gimme a break.
  3. by   ERNurse752
    Sounds like there are a lot of conflicting pieces of stories with this situation.

    Here's the latest update I've seen online:

    DURHAM, N.C. (Feb. 21) - Jesica Santillan's recovery from a second heart-lung transplant within two weeks ran into a serious complication Friday when doctors discovered swelling in her brain.

    Doctors attributed the complication to the amount of time she was connected to machines to keep her condition stable while she awaited the second transplant, said Mack Mahoney, a leader of fund-raising efforts to pay for Jesica's care, at a news conference Friday morning.

    A tube was inserted into Jesica's skull to help relieve pressure and a CAT scan was planned to determine if there is bleeding in the cranium, he said.

    ''It is grave. They said you need to be concerned,'' Mahoney said the doctors told him.

    ''We've hit a bump in the road,'' he said. ''Hopefully, it won't be a big bump.''

    Officials at Duke University Hospital were not immediately available for comment Friday morning.

    Jesica was near death after her body began rejecting the mismatched organs she received in the botched first transplant Feb. 7. She received a second transplant early Thursday at Duke University Hospital.

    Jesica, 17, was breathing with the help of a ventilator, but her new heart and lungs were performing as expected, officials said Thursday evening.

    ''That's a tough little girl,'' Mahoney said. ''Don't underestimate her. I mean, she went through a lot and she's still there.''

    Her mother, Magdalena Santillan, said she spoke to her unconscious daughter, praising her courage and letting her know she has supporters around the world.

    ''She asks everybody out there to pray for her daughter,'' said cousin America Santillan, who acted as interpreter for the girl's parents.

    Jesica had a heart deformity that kept her lungs from getting oxygen into her blood. Her family moved from a small town near Guadalajara, Mexico, to a relative's home in Louisburg so she could get medical care. She spent three years on a transplant waiting list before her first surgery.

    In that operation, Dr. James Jaggers implanted organs from a donor with type A blood, rather than Jesica's O-positive, a mistake Duke officials say wasn't discovered until the surgery was almost over.

    Dr. William Fulkerson, the hospital's chief operating officer, said Jaggers wrongly assumed compatibility had been confirmed when he was offered the organs, and later failed to double-check that assumption, a violation of the hospital's procedures.

    Jesica's body began to immediately reject the transplant. As her condition steadily worsened, she was placed on life support and suffered a stroke and kidney damage.

    Dr. Duane Davis, who helped Jaggers perform Thursday's four-hour surgery, said those may not be permanent problems.

    ''None of the body part injury is irreversible,'' he said. ''We are going to have to wait and see how she recovers.''

    For the moment, he said, ''She's as critical as a person could be. ... I can't really say anybody could be any sicker.''

    Magdalena Santillan said doctors told her they must wait to see how Jesica reacts once she regains consciousness before they can assess her chances for recovery.

    She said she was no longer angry about the error because it had been corrected by the second surgery.

    ''Everything is going to come out OK,'' Santillan said. ''I'm really blessed.''

    The hospital has added additional levels of verification for organ compatibility, and Fulkerson said those new procedures were followed before Thursday's surgery.

    Both sets of organs were donated through the United Network for Organ Sharing, a national group that helps connect donors and potential transplant patients.

    Hospitals may place non-U.S. citizens on their transplant waiting lists and must give them the same priority level as citizens, but can perform no more than 5 percent of their transplants on non-citizens, said group spokeswoman Anne Paschke.

    ''We want to make sure that with such a scarcity of organs that we take care of people in the U.S.''

    AP-NY-02-21-03 0733EST

    Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
  4. by   mattsmom81
    SJoe we will probably be accused of cynicism but I reacted the same as you...they are here illegally and probably receiving food stamps and on public assistance. I can think of better uses for my tax dollars today.

    I also have no tolerance for people in our country illegally anymore since 911....we need to stop being so 'caring' regarding illegals. She is a lovely child and I wish her the best but we need to start saying no, IMHO. I would not be surprised to find our tax dollars helped fund this surgery in the first place, as the government is too free with the taxpayers' $ IMO.

    Gotta also admit I wondered who got killed (or what else illegal happened) to get these organs so fast...but I am more than a litle cynical towards the whole organ donation process...as I've had bad experiences with organ/tissue banks and their very proprietary attitudes towards the newly dead. It troubles me.

    My prayers are with this girl and I hope she recovers.
  5. by   Furball
    I just heard a report on MSNBC reporting that Jessica has a severe brain injury and her prognosis doesn;t look good.


    Damn......another heart, lung, the young lady, and who knows what or who else (potential transplantees) wasted.
  6. by   kaycee
    I figured the lawyers were swarming in as soon as the news hit. I didn't realize until yesterday that they were all in this country illegally. I sincerely hope this poor young girl does well but since when do we allow organ donations on illegal aliens. I have to agree with SJoe and mattsmom on this. It may be cold hearted but it's how I feel.
  7. by   Lausana
    I'm also interested in hearing where the organs came from, there is usually always a description of the donor in high profile cases to give us the warm fuzzies, so that is weird.

    I didn't realize the US did this for illegal aliens either. Geez, I'd just be happy for my pretty good insurance to cover lab work, and I'm a citizen and a taxpayer. :chuckle

    But I'm thankful this girl's been given another chance, hope she makes it through this, lots of years yet ahead of her.
  8. by   fab4fan
    Why should our tax dollars go to fund illegals getting organ replacements? That means that somewhere down the line, someone who has paid into the system goes without organ replacement because those organs went to an illegal.

    I thought the same thing, "Who did they off to get those organs?"
    And as sorry as I am for her situation, shouldn't those organs have gone to someone who had a better shot at surviving?

    I have big problems with the whole organ donation system in general; at this point I am not a donor, and don't see it happening any time soon. The whole thing seems very arbitrary, and I just do not like the way the system goes about getting organs. It ticks me off that every time we have a death in the ED, we have to call "Kidney 1", even though the family may have specifically said "no donation" (Thanks to former Gov. Casey...someone who could be really objective on this issue...NOT!).

    So let's see...we've paid for both of these surgeries, we are probably paying for them to get assistance, people are sending them money hand over fist, they will be getting all kinds of freebies from all over...it just goes on and on.

    I'm not saying that an American life is worth more than one from anywhere else, but really, charity does begin at home. If they're here illegally, howcome the INS doesn't catch up with them? Right...they are now going to be our newest pseudo-celebrities.
    Last edit by fab4fan on Feb 21, '03
  9. by   warrior woman
    well, it's a moot point anyway, as the latest news is the 17 yr. old has irreversible brain damage.ww.
  10. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by fab4fan
    It ticks me off that every time we have a death in the ED, we have to call "Kidney 1", even though the family may have specifically said "no donation" (Thanks to former Gov. Casey...someone who could be really objective on this issue...NOT!).
    Fab, I'm sorry, I didn't understand this part of your post--can you explain?
  11. by   cactus wren
    Here in Az we also have to call Donor Network with every death..even if the family has said"No" and they record it, tell me thank you...takes 2 min...no a problem...Don`t really understand why the call is necessary.....but that`s the rules....
  12. by   fab4fan
    It's the same here, cactus wren, but depending on who you get, you can get someone that will really grill you about the circumstances..."are you sure they won't agree to tissue/bone/whatever". I guess I feel like it's just none of their business; if the pt/family said no, then that should be that.
  13. by   Q.
    SJoe we will probably be accused of cynicism but I reacted the same as you...they are here illegally and probably receiving food stamps and on public assistance. I can think of better uses for my tax dollars today.
    I am too angry to comment appropriately.

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