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Kidney Transplant Death; News Reports Indicate Family Gets up to $10M


Posted on Oct 02, 2012

The family of a woman who died while giving up her kidney has been handed a settlement somewhere between $7 and $10 million.

Yolanda Medina, 41, had entered Montefiore Hospital's Einstein Center for Transplantation on May 23 this year to donate her kidney to her brother, Roberto Medina, 39. While in the operating room, her aorta was accidentally cut and she bled to death despite the best efforts of the medical staff. Roberto is still without a kidney.

According to the NY Daily News, $2 million will go to each of Ms. Medina's three girls (ages 3, 8, 11). Mr. Medina, who is married with four children, will be awarded at least $1 million.

Under a specially expedited process, Montefiore was able to bring the case to settlement before a wrongful death claim was even filed by the family. They were interested in minimizing the damage to their renowned organ transplant program, for which the Medina family was grateful.

Montefiore is a major national hub for organ transplants and harvesting organs. Since 1967, they have conducted 3500 kidney transplants, including 1000 from live donors. Not a single instance of death during organ surgery (called nephrectomy) had ever occurred at the hospital before this incident. Such fatalities are rare in general: the risk of death is only 0.03%.

However, the NY Health Department dubbed this a "major incident," and is investigating the center, which has decided to voluntarily shut its operations until the investigation is over.

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