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Feds place UPMC transplant program on probation

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 16, 2011

Because of a botched living donor kidney transplant earlier this year, a federal agency on Tuesday put UPMC's transplant program on probation, a rarely used form of discipline handed down for some of the most serious transplant errors. The federal Organ Procurement Transplant Network said it meted out the discipline not only because of the kidney transplant error, but because UPMC's transplant program was found to have problems in its communication and documentation procedures before. "This finding is the result of a series of detailed medical peer reviews," OPTN's president John Lake said in a statement Tuesday after an OPTN board meeting in Atlanta, where the decision to discipline UPMC was reached. "The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has identified a need for process improvement in communicating key clinical information among transplant staff members. While the center has acted quickly and responsibly to identify and implement a corrective action plan, we believe probation is warranted." OPTN also said in a statement that the board took note of the fact that previous OPTN "reviews of the center had identified other communication and documentation issues requiring correction."