Donated heart accidentally damaged before transplant at Sheba

A medical staff member accidentally put the donated organ into the wrong preservative, making it impossible to transplant.

Main entrance to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Main entrance to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A heart transplant at Sheba Medical Center was cancelled on Sunday due to a mistake by one of the medical personnel. Before the operation, the staff member accidentally put the donated heart in the wrong preservative, thereby damaging it. 

The operating room staff recognized the mistake and stopped the transplant, and now the heart is receiving treatment to see if the damage can be repaired and so that the heart can still be transplanted.

The patient was put back on the organ donation waiting list in stable condition and medical officials are implementing cardiopulmonary bypass - a technique in which a machine temporarily takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery. It also helps maintain the circulation of oxygen and blood in the patient's body. However, the patient cannot be released from the medical center until a solution is found.

The consequences of the mistake

If the medical team fails to treat the damaged heart, the patient may wait a long time until another donor is found, as heart donations are not as common as other organ donations.

"The patient is connected to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine and hospitalized in stable condition in the cardiac surgery intensive care unit. The director of the medical center established an inspection committee into the situation," the Sheba Medical Center stated. 

Sheba Medical Center campus (credit: Courtesy)Sheba Medical Center campus (credit: Courtesy)

"The patient is connected to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine and hospitalized in stable condition in the cardiac surgery intensive care unit."

Sheba Medical Center

The case was reported to the Health Ministry as well.