Surgical Clips Linked to Kidney Donor Deaths
Some kidney donors are dying because tiny surgical clips used to hold the donor’s renal artery closed after surgery may slip off and allow the patient to bleed to death.
Such deaths continue to occur in laparoscopic kidney donor surgeries despite warning letters and alerts that the medical devices should not be used in these procedures because of serious risks to the donor, according to CNN.
During kidney transplants, some surgeons use staples and others use surgical clips to hold the renal artery shut, according to CNN. The clips are considered to safe in various surgical procedures but not for laparoscopic kidney donor transplants because of the risk the clips can slip off.
Five kidney donors have died and 12 others have suffered injuries due to the clips, according to CNN.
The packaging of the surgical clips urges surgeons to read the instructions that come with a tool to apply the clips. The instructions for the tool say that the clips should not be used for laparoscopic kidney donor transplants. However, the tool’s instructions aren’t always kept in the O.R, according to CNN.
Teleflex, which makes the clips, sent warning letters to hospitals in 2006 warning that the devices were unsafe in laparoscopic kidney donor surgeries, according to CNN. The Food and Drug Administration also warned surgeons that the surgical clips are not safe for use on patients during kidney transplant surgeries.
Critics say that stronger safety warnings need to appear on the clip packaging, according to CNN.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe medical device, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation and to find out if a product liability lawyer may be able to help you. For legal help, call (800) 581-6358.