UTMC faces more obstacles before reinstating kidney program

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Officials at the University of Toledo say it is working toward restoring its kidney transplant program after it was voluntarily shut down following what some called an "inexcusable mistake."

The Department of Health sent a letter to UTMC after conducting an inspection on the entire hospital earlier in November on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The inspection was in response to a kidney that was accidentally thrown away after being deemed useless during a transplant operation in August. A few small concerns were brought to attention, including dried food found in a microwave oven and labels on fire doors that were not clearly marked. UTMC officials say the majority of issues have been corrected.

UTMC has 10 days to respond to the Department of Health on how it plans to fix the problems found. The department will then respond within another 10 days and make a return visit within 45 days.

Officials from UTMC say they are not concerned and believe it is an important process to go through in order to keep the hospital operating smoothly.

"The hospital industry is one of the most heavily-monitored, closely-watched industries in the United States," said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UT chancellor of health affairs. "We want really high-quality safety for ourselves, for our family members, for all of our patients."

The United Network of Organ Sharing will determine if the kidney program at UTMC will be reinstated during a meeting in December.

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