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Dallas Hospitals Named In Transplant Suit

Mar 12, 2003 | UPI

Two Dallas hospitals and three surgeons are named in a lawsuit alleging a 1-year-old girl died after receiving a transplant liver of the wrong blood type.

Jeanella Aranda died last summer after receiving a portion of her father's liver at Children's Medical Center of Dallas after it had been removed at Baylor University Medical Center, according to the lawsuit filed by the child's parents from Longview, Texas.

The lawsuit alleges that negligence on the part of the defendants led to the death of the child, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday. The girl should have received the transplant from her mother rather than her father, according to the lawsuit.

In statements, Children's and Baylor said they were told the father's blood type was a match. The blood typing was conducted at Parkland Memorial Hospital, which was not named in the lawsuit filed Monday in Dallas.

"An exhaustive review of the care Jeanella received at our hospital has been conducted, and Children's believes it acted appropriately, based on the information provided to us by an external laboratory," the statement said.

Baylor said it also was told that the father was the appropriate donor and that one of the doctors had informed the family of the risks and where the blood typing had been conducted.

Doctors at Children's determined last July that Jeanella had a liver tumor and scheduled the complex transplant surgery, according to the hospital. "As a result of surgical complications, it became necessary to perform an emergency liver transplant in an attempt to save her life," the hospital said.

The lawsuit alleges that a surgeon severed blood veins and arteries around the liver during the surgery, "resulting in significant and uncontrollable bleeding." The liver was irreparably damaged, and the child required a transplant, it states.

Doctors recommended that the parents be tested as possible donors. There was a mix-up in the reporting of blood types from the Parkland laboratory, according to the lawsuit, and a portion of the father's liver was transplanted into the child.

Baylor said the case does not parallel the recent case of Jesica Santillan, who received the mis-typed organs in transplant surgery at Duke University Medical Center, because liver transplants do not require exact blood type matches like hearts and lungs.

The Aranda lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount of damages.

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