A transplant patient who went into the hospital to get a kidney and wound up with brain damage will receive a $6 million settlement from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the Sun-Times reported Wednesday.
The case involved diabetic Lauro Ortiz, who had been born with one kidney and sought to get another kidney so that he wouldn’t need dialysis. On Dec. 17, 2005, when Ortiz was 39, he learned that there was a kidney available for him and he received the transplant.
He was released from the hospital five days after his operation, but unbeknownest to him and his doctors, his new kidney had a fungal infection. On Dec. 26 the organization that had supplied the kidney, Gift of Hope, both phoned and faxed Rush to warn the hospital that the kidney was infected, according to the Sun-Times. The hospital’s own test the next day confirmed that finding.
But in an unfortunate mistake, Rush never contacted Ortiz to tell him there was a problem with the kidney. He was not feeling well, and was dizzy, so he returned to the hospital Jan. 13. It took Rush until almost a week later, until Jan. 19, to diagnose that Ortiz’s kidney infection had traveled to his brain.
So the kidney infection went untreated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 19, allowing it to spread to Ortiz’s brain.
His attorney blamed the screw-up on the lack of communication at Rush.
Ortiz had been a machinist before he sustained his brain injury. Now he lives with his mother in Chicago and has cognitive issues, including memory loss, according to the Sun-Times.
Original url: http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/health/2684436,CST-NWS-KIDNEY08.article