Presbyterian Hospital, one of New Mexico's two kidney transplant centers, has suspended those transplant services for eight weeks. A recent surge in rejected kidneys prompted the suspension and has caused the hospital to launch an investigation. Since April, four of seven kidney transplants failed.
"We've not been able to find a common thread," Eddie Benge, M.D., vice president of medical staff affairs at Presbyterian Healthcare Services, told the Albuquerque Journal. He added that something can go wrong while typing the organ for a transplant, handling it in transit or during follow-up.
Hospital officials plan to hire one or more experts from a list they received from the United Network for Organ Sharing to help review the hospital's procedures. But clusters of rejections are not uncommon, and an investigation might not turn up any problems, Benge said.
More than 500 transplants have been performed at the hospital since 1986. The hospital's three-year success rate of 94.5% is higher than the nation's 81.6% average, according to Presbyterian figures.