Transplant trouble

Over in Mississippi two lawsuits have been filed against Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) over two kidney transplants from a single donor. It turns out the donor had been infected with encephalitis. Of the recipients of the donor’s two kidneys, one died less than three months after receiving a kidney, and the other suffers from partial blindness and continued poor health. The lawsuits contend the kidneys are to blame.

MORA and UMC allege the patient who died, Ellecia Small, died from medical conditions that had nothing to do with the kidney itself. The parasite that caused the encephalitis was identified after the organs had been donated, according to UMC. In most cases organs from cancer patients or those with infectious diseases are not used for transplants. The parasite in this case, Balamuthia mandrillaris, is rare.

For more information see this article about the transplants and this article about the lawsuits.