In the US one of the top organ transplant hospitals in California has suspended its liver program following allegations a Saudi national improperly received an organ ahead of dozens of other needy American patients.
The Los Angeles Times reported that officials at St. Vincent Medical Center also discovered that, following the transplant, some hospital staff allegedly falsified records of the operation on numerous occasions, ostensibly to shield the process from scrutiny or discovery.
The Saudi national, who was not identified, was No. 52 on the regional waiting list, which covered much of southern California. The liver should have gone instead to a patient at UCLA Medical Center.
There were no details on the disposition of that patient, or the patient who ultimately received the organ, and it was unclear how long St. Vincent's suspension would last. Hospital officials said they were in the process of notifying all organ transplant patients of the suspension.
Transplant patients are ranked according to severity of disease, which has been on the list the longest, whether or not they can hold up under major surgery and whether they can take the organ immediately.
Improper operation was discovered only in September month, in response to a routine audit by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the national donation program