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Family settles over kidney thrown away

– A family that sued after a nurse tossed a healthy kidney in the trash during a transplant has settled its lawsuit against an Ohio hospital for $650,000.

A patient, Sarah Fudacz, who was 24 at the time, was to receive her brother’s kidney in 2012 but awoke without having undergone surgery because the nurse had accidentally thrown it out.

Fudacz later received a different kidney but the family sued the University of Toledo Medical Center, claiming medical negligence.

In a settlement approved Wednesday by the Court of Claims of Ohio, the money will be split among Fudacz and her brother along with their parents.

The Toledo family said the mistake deeply affected their lives and that the kidney Fudacz later received isn’t a perfect match, meaning it will not last as long as her brother’s would have.

The hospital, which helped the woman find a new kidney and pay for travel expenses to Colorado for the surgery, fired one nurse. Another nurse who disposed of the kidney retired.

It also temporarily suspended its live kidney donation program until undergoing reviews that led to procedural changes it believes will keep the mistake from happening again.

A report by a surgeon hired by the hospital to review its program called it “baffling” that the nurse would accidentally dispose of the viable kidney. At the same time, the report found no problems with the systems that would have indicated the hospital was at risk for such a mistake.

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