July 5, 2022

PATIENTS DIE WHILE WAITING FOR LIVERS

Medical ethics includes competent management. This seems to be the lesson from a scandal exposed by the Los Angeles Times in which more than 30 people died while waiting for liver transplants. According to the newspaper, the University of California, Irvine Medical Center received 122 liver offers between August 2004 and July 2005, but transplanted only 12 of them because of a staffing shortage. The hospital had lacked a full time liver transplant surgeon since July 2004.

The hospital failed to meet minimum government requirements for patient survival and transplant numbers between 2002 and 2004. The doctor who founded the liver transplant program, Dr David Imagawa, recently returned to the hospital and says that changes are being made.