Kidney donor, recipient both sue hospital

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Both donor and recipient of a transplanted kidney have filed medical malpractice lawsuits against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, officials say.

Michael Yocabet, recipient of a kidney infected with hepatitis C, and Christina Mecannic, the donor, say the hospital system should not have transplanted the infected kidney, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.


UPMC voluntarily shut down its live-donor kidney and liver transplant programs May 9 during an investigation that found that "human error" caused the mistake.

The programs resumed in June.

Yocabet and Mecannic, life partners of 21 years who have an 18-year-old son, said they were seeking "compensatory and punitive damages" of an unspecified amount.

The lawsuits say blood tests showed Mecannic was infected with hepatitis C before surgeons performed the transplant surgery but she was approved to donate her kidney to Yocabet, who was infected with hepatitis C as a result of the transplant.

UPMC doctors should have disqualified Mecannic from being a donor, the suits say.

UPMC said transplant surgeon Henkie Tan, who oversaw the living donor program, and nurse Mimi Funovits, the transplant coordinator on the case, were disciplined for missing the test result, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.


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