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Some families seem to receive more than their share of struggles. One patient had been suffering from renal failure and has been on kidney dialysis since February. Naturally, his family stepped in to see if any of the relatives was able to donate a kidney. Yolanda, the man’s 41-year-old older sister, was a match. Like any good sister would, Yolanda volunteered to donate her kidney to her younger brother.
The operation should have been straightforward, but a surgical error caused Yolanda to bleed to death on the operating table. Her aorta was sliced during the surgery, and she died before her brother could receive her kidney.
Although the hospital was able to find another kidney match for the brother, he is overcome with guilt and grief. He said, “It’s just tough on me…because she lost her life trying to save mind. And that’s really what is killing me every day.”
When Yolanda died, she left three children behind. Her family is working with a medical malpractice attorney, and they are planning to sue for the surgical error. If the family’s lawsuit is successful, the settlement could provide the family with some financial security during a tragically stressful time. Although money can’t return a mother to her family, it could help cover Yolanda’s funeral costs, and it could provide compensation to address lost wages and loss of consortium.
The state health department launched an investigation to determine how the fatal error happened. Although the hospital has had 1,000 successful live donor operations in the past four decades, even one preventable death is too many. Hopefully, the investigation and medical malpractice lawsuit will identify the problem that led to this tragedy and help ensure that it never happens again.
Source: Huffington Post, “Yolanda Medina, New York Mother, Dies During Operation To Donate Kidney To Brother,” Tara Kelly, June 7, 2012