Scary...and real sad

  1. DURHAM, North Carolina (AP) -- A teenager from Mexico who mistakenly received organs from a donor with a different blood type was not expected to live more than a few days, a family friend said Tuesday.

    The girl, whose family moved to the United States so she could get a heart and lung transplant, remained in critical condition Tuesday, said Richard Puff, a spokesman for Duke University Hospital.

    "She's only got a couple of more days to live on this heart-lung machine, and she's already experiencing damage to her kidneys," friend Mack Mahoney told ABC's "Good Morning America."

    Jesica Santillam, 17, suffers from a heart deformity that prevents her lungs from pumping enough oxygen into her blood. After a three-year wait, she received a transplant on February 7 with a heart and lungs flown in from Boston, Massachusetts.

    The organs flown from Boston to Durham 10 days ago were sent with paperwork correctly listing the donor's blood type, said Sean Fitzpatrick of the New England Organ Bank, which sent the organs.

    Speaking through an interpreter, the girl's mother, Magdalena Santillan, told "Good Morning America" that the hospital called her and said they had received same blood-type organs, and that the organs had come exactly just to her daughter's measurements.

    Somehow, the type-A organs were transplanted into the girl with type O-positive blood.

    "This was a tragic error, and we accept responsibility for our part," said Dr. William Fulkerson, chief executive officer of Duke University Hospital, in a statement released Monday night. "This is an especially sad situation since we intended this operation to save the life of a girl whose prognosis was grave."

    Duke Hospital officials initially refused to elaborate on the mix-up, but Mahoney, who has legal authority to participate in Jesica's medical care, said the girl's family was told a "clerical error" allowed her name to come up on a list of possible recipients.


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    My question is how the hell could they get by without TRIPLE checking the blood types first right before transplanting the organs of both the donor AND the recipient?

    I am not a transplant nurse but it seems to me that this would be a rather simple and safe thing to do

    Dave
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   CANRN
    That is heartbreaking! I feel so badly for the mother! Can you imagine the pain????
  4. by   kaycee
    How very sad. I'm wondering too how they could of screwed up so badly.
  5. by   Furball
    wow...what a BIG TIME screw up....poor kid!
  6. by   tonchitoRN
    even worse if you think about it. two lives will be lost. the little girl and the one patient who actually could have been helped by these organs.
  7. by   ktwlpn
    What a hirrible mistake-I hope that through a thorough investigation they can find out how the system failed and fix it so this does not happen to anyone else....And isn't it wonderful to live in this country(native or not) and have access to this kind of medical treatment-regardless of the ability to pay?
  8. by   emily_mom
    Wow, what a terrible thing. To go into surgery full of anticipation and excitement....and probably never come out of sedation....:sniff

    Kristy
  9. by   sjoe
    "even worse if you think about it. two lives will be lost. the little girl and the one patient who actually could have been helped by these organs."

    A good reminder that nothing is so bad that a negative attitude can't make even worse.
  10. by   anitame
    How said

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