Nurse Who Threw Donor Kidney in Trash Makes Going to the Hospital Scarier

biohazard trashEverybody makes mistakes. Right? In any given occupation, even the most responsible, intelligent, hard-working professional is going to have the occasional D'oh! moment. It's just a shame when an on-the-job slip-up involves something like a recently donated kidney being thrown in the garbage by a nurse. Especially when that recently donated kidney came from a very much alive man whose older sister was waiting to receive said internal organ. D'oh!

Hey, I'm not gonna judge -- I threw my house keys in the garbage by accident once. (That sucked.) Like I said, everybody makes mistakes. But here's the truly eyebrow-raising part of the story, in my opinion: Doctors considered using the kidney even after it was discovered in the trash. In fact, they "tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to resuscitate the organ." (I don't even want to know what that process entails. Did they try to shock it back to life? Throw cold water in its ... non-face?)


This was a kidney, not a day-old muffin in some bakery's bargain basket! I won't even drink from a carton of milk that somebody forgot to put back in the fridge, and these doctors actually thought about surgically transplanting an improperly disposed-of organ into a human being's body?!

Thankfully, "the physician in consultation with the family decided to not take the risk knowing there was a good chance for another highly compatible donor."

But the fact that they almost did take the risk should serve as an important reminder for the rest of us: Doctors (nurses, dentists, etc.) don't always know best. I'm not saying they never know best, but they're just people, and people screw up from time to time. So if you're ever in doubt about a procedure or diagnosis or something just feels "off," ask questions! Get a second opinion! Do whatever you need to do.

I'm pretty sure the five-second rule does NOT apply to donor organs.

Do you think this story makes going to the hospital even scarier?


Image via Tim Samoff/Flickr

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