Hospital Hires Experts To Investigate Liver Transplant Program
Officials at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles have hired outside experts to investigate whether the director and assistant director of its liver transplant program acted improperly in a 2003 case, the Los Angeles Times reports (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 10/13).
Hospital officials suspended the program upon discovering the case, in which a patient who was 52nd on a regional transplant waiting list received an organ ahead of others. Hospital officials informed the Department of Health Services of the problem last month, and the agency said it will investigate the matter.
In addition, the Medical Board of California last month said it has launched an investigation of the directors of the liver transplant program (California Healthline, 9/28).
Hospital spokesperson Paul Silva said that the director of the liver transplant program has resigned from the medical staff and that the assistant director has resigned as chair of the hospital's bioethics committee but remains on staff.
St. Vincent administrators also are investigating the conduct of other hospital personnel, including two staff members who said they falsified medical records under the direct or indirect instructions of the liver transplant program director.
The hospital also is investigating whether other transplant organs might have been allocated inappropriately (Los Angeles Times, 10/13).