While removing organs from a donor's body, a surgeon contaminated them by accidentally spilling the stomach contents of the donor. By not reporting the incident, the surgeon allowed the contaminated organs to get transplanted. The oversight killed one patient while two others were left extremely ill.
The unnamed National Health Service (NHS) doctor, working with Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, did not register the spillage of the donor's stomach contents four years ago. Even though only a "small amount" of the stomach content was spilled, the organs got infected with Candida albicans fungus.
A 36-year-old organ recipient who received a contaminated liver died of an aneurysm. The foreign fungus invaded the patient's body after the liver transplant was completed.
The second patient to be affected by the contamination was a 25-year-old kidney transplant patient. The young patient nearly died due to the infected kidney transplant. Surgeons at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board alerted the Human Tissue Authority and the Welsh Government. An induced coma, 16-blood transfusions, and removal of the infected kidney saved the life of the patient from South Wales.
The Sun reported that the patient, who did not wish to be named, took legal action against Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. NHS agreed to pay more than £215k to cover the damages. However, the negligent surgeon is still practicing. Defending the actions of the surgeon, the Trust's lawyers claim that the risk posed by the contamination was very low. Even if the surgeon had reported it,, the low-risk rate might have still allowed the transplants to take place.
The third patient to have suffered from the contaminated organs had a kidney and pancreas transplant. In the case of the 44-year-old patient, the infection was not as severe and the patient was able to recover.
Even though the 25-year-old patient received compensation from the NHS, he is forced to lead a limiting life. Removal of the infected kidney caused irreversible nerve damage. The patient also suffers from high blood pressure and aches to the legs and feet. Above all, the patient's trust in doctors has been destroyed due to the ordeal.