Teen Near Death After Receiving Organs With Wrong Blood Type

by betweenworlds 12 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • betweenworlds

    Well this is just plain depressing :( Can't believe stuff like this still happens.

  • betweenworlds


    tried embedding that but it didn't seem to work...hmmmm

  • Utopian_Raindrops

    That poor family! Such medical negligence!

    As you have said….can not believe this kind of stuff still happens.

    The other tragedy of this is it promotes among JW’s that blood is bad for you because of the bible command!

    I admit in dietary uses blood could go bad and cause sickness but in medical uses it is the so-called medical professionals that are the problem!

    In this case some idiot did not make sure the blood type of the donor matched the recipient!

    In other cases it is each pint of blood donated was not properly tested for diseases!

    It is not because someone broke a bible command that people die from blood.

    It is human error at fault. No ands ifs or buts!

    My 2 cents of rant.

    Gotta luvz ya guyz,


    Once again this poor family and child.


    About a month ago, I posted a question regarding 'peoples blood type'.

    Even if you would NEVER receive a blood transfusion, it's important to know. Moreso if you are an Rh Negative Mother with an Rh Positive baby.

    This is so tragic. Given the mere simplicity of typing blood, that this would happen. What an absolute tragedy beyond words.

    I for one, am glad I found out mine. Travelling in Asia, I would have been up the proverbial '...creek without a paddle' had I needed any medical attention.

    Sad. Very sad, and so unnecessary.

    SO...folks, even if you DO not ever wish to receive a transfusion, there are other reasons for knowing your blood type, and avoiding some potential mix-ups.

    I feel badly for this family....so unnecessary.

    Get your blood type checked when you can, it never hurts.

  • pr_capone

    What is even sadder is the fact that the local Elders will be using this as an example as to the dangers of blood transfusions and organ transplants.

    Sick bastards


  • Elsewhere

    Very sad....


    Transplant mistake leaves girl near death

    Tuesday, February 18, 2003 Posted: 7:25 AM EST (1225 GMT)

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    DURHAM, North Carolina (AP) -- A teenager from Mexico whose family moved to the United States so she could get a heart and lung transplant was near death Tuesday after mistakenly receiving organs from a donor with a different blood type.

    "This was a tragic error, and we accept responsibility for our part," said Dr. William Fulkerson, chief executive officer of Duke University Hospital, in a statement released Monday night. "This is an especially sad situation since we intended this operation to save the life of a girl whose prognosis was grave."

    Jesica Santillam, 17, suffers from a heart deformity that prevents her lungs from pumping enough oxygen into her blood. After a three-year wait, she received a transplant on February 7 with a heart and lungs flown in from Boston, Massachusetts.

    Jesica remained in critical condition Monday, a hospital spokesman said. Mack Mahoney, a family friend, said she was not expected to live more than a few days.

    The heart and lungs flown from Boston to Durham 10 days ago were sent with paperwork correctly listing the donor's blood type, said Sean Fitzpatrick of the New England Organ Bank, which sent the organs.

    Somehow, the type-A organs were transplanted into the 17-year-old with type O-positive blood.

    Duke Hospital officials initially refused to elaborate on the mix-up, but Mahoney, who has legal authority to participate in Jesica's medical care, said the girl's family was told a "clerical error" allowed her name to come up on a list of possible recipients.

  • eisenstein

    Oh My God!!!

    Such a tragedy for such a beautiful young life!

    My sister in-3D told me about this earlier but, seeing this picture it just now hit me.

    in-3D has a serious heart condition that wasn't diagnosed until she was 17, then and now her only hope was and is a combined heart and lung transplant. She didn't have it done then because of the blood issue and now there are other factors involved. But, I feel very fortunate to have her alive and relatively healthy. She has outlived all of the doctor's expectations.

    Again, what a tragedy for this young girl and her family...
    (CMEO...crying my eyes out)


  • JenGill97

    I just read an article on the internet that said her brain had stopped receiving blood and they declared her brain dead. I'll attatch a copy of the article below.

    Jen :)

    Feb 23, 12:16 AM (ET) By EMERY P. DALESIO

    (AP) Kurt Dixon, attorney for the family of Jesica Santillan, left, who recieved her second heart-lung... Full Image

    DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Jesica Santillan, the teenager who survived a botched heart-lung transplant long enough to get an odds-shattering second set of donated organs, died Saturday, two days after the second transplant.

    Doctors declared her brain dead at 1:25 p.m., said Duke University Medical Center spokesman Richard Puff.

    She was kept on life support through the afternoon so family and friends could say goodbye, the hospital said in a statement. Medication to keep her heart going was discontinued at 5 p.m.; her heart stopped seven minutes later and a ventilator was then turned off.

    Renee McCormick, a spokeswoman for a charity created to pay Jesica's medical bills, said the Santillan family didn't know until then that doctors were taking her off life support.

    "They were hysterical," McCormick said. "The family's been treated so poorly. They're very hurt. These are human beings."

    A family lawyer said earlier they didn't want to remove Jesica from life support until an outside doctor verified she was brain dead. He could not be reached later Saturday.

    Jesica, 17, whose own heart had a deformity that kept her lungs from getting oxygen into her blood, received a heart-lung transplant Feb. 7. But because of human error, the organs were of a different blood type, and her body rejected them.

    She was near death by the time the second set was placed in her body early Thursday. By early Friday, the newest organs were performing well but Jesica's brain was swelled and bleeding.

    In the first operation, Dr. James Jaggers implanted organs from a donor with type A blood, rather than Jesica's O-positive. In a letter to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which matches patients with donated organs, Duke officials said Jaggers and Carolina Donor Services, a procurement agency, failed to share information about her blood type.

    (AP) Kurt Dixon, attorney for the family of Jesica Santillan, who recieved her second heart-lung...
    Full Image
    Jaggers, in his first public remarks, said Saturday he had hoped Jesica would be "one of those lucky few" awaiting heart-lung transplants who actually receive the surgery and do well.

    "Unfortunately, in this case, human errors were made during the process" to match the organs with the patient, he said in a taped statement released by Duke.

    "I hope that we, and others, can learn from this tragic mistake and move forward to make the process safer and available to more of those in need. To do otherwise would fail to properly honor Jesica and her memory."

    Family lawyer Kurt Dixon said Jesica's parents and supporters, who had remained with her through her hospitalization, would not be available for comment.

    "All of us at Duke University Hospital are deeply saddened by this," Dr. William Fulkerson, the hospital's chief executive officer, said Saturday. "We want Jesica's family and supporters to know that we share their loss and their grief. We very much regret these tragic circumstances."

    (AP) Kurt Dixon, attorney for the family of Jesica Santillan, middle, who recieved her second heart-lung...
    Full Image
    Relatives have said her family paid a smuggler to bring them from their small town near Guadalajara, Mexico, to the United States so she could get medical care.

    Less than two weeks after the botched operation, a second set of organs was located - amazingly fast in comparison to the three years Jesica spent on a waiting list before her first operation. Eighty percent of patients awaiting transplants die before organs can be found.

    Dr. Karen Frush, the hospital's medical director of children's services, has there was no sure way to tell when the brain damage occurred. But Mack Mahoney, a family friend and Jesica's chief benefactor, said doctors told the family it was due to the time Jesica was connected to life support.

    "Life support ruins kidneys, it ruins brains, it ruins all the organs of the body," he said.

    The Santillan family declined to donate any organs from Jesica's body, Puff said.

    (AP) Kurt Dixon, attorney for the family of Jesica Santillan, who recieved her second heart-lung...
    Full Image
    Jesica's place on the transplant list was determined by several factors, including the severity of her illness and her age.

    Her immigration status played no role because hospitals may place non-U.S. citizens on their waiting lists and must give them the same priority as citizens, said Anne Paschke, spokeswoman for the organ network. But they cannot perform more than 5 percent of their transplants on non-citizens.

    Heart and lung transplants are rare for teenagers: In the first 11 months of 2002, there were four nationwide for children between the ages of 11 and 17, UNOS' records show. The previous year, there were four.


    On the Net:

    Jesica's Hope Chest: http://www.4jhc.org

    Duke University Medical Center: http://www.mc.duke.edu

    United Network for Organ Sharing: http://www.unos.org

    Carolina Donor Services: http://www.carolinadonorservices.org

  • bk62

    Another thought occured to me...the first set of organs could have quite possibly saved another life as well.

  • rem
    The Santillan family declined to donate any organs from Jesica's body, Puff said.

    Does this bother anyone else? I would think it would be mandatory for organ recipients to be organ donors as well. Well, maybe there shouldn't be a law, but I think that sucks pretty bad to use the system but not to give back to it. Could they even take the heart and lungs they just transplanted and given them to someone else? Assuming they were not damaged during the surgery, were they really even 'hers'?

    Maybe I'm off my rocker here, but my gf and I were talking about this and we were both kinda ticked off by that.


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