CHICAGO (CN) – A woman says she got HIV and hepatitis C from a kidney transplant and that the University of Chicago Medical Center failed to inform her of the donor’s high-risk status before the operation, in violation of federal guidelines. Jane Doe claims four people got HIV through organs transplanted from the donor, a homosexual man.
“The thrust of this litigation is going to center around the importance of hospital transplant teams following Center of Disease Control guidelines, stating that whenever a high-risk donor is used that the patient be informed of the fact so they can make a decision about whether or not they want to undergo the risk of acquiring HIV and hepatitis,” said attorney Thomas Demetrio.
Doe, 33, says she received a kidney at the University of Chicago Medical Center in January 2007. On Nov. 1, 2007, she was called in for a blood test after another organ recipient from the high risk donor tested positive for HIV.
The Centers for Disease Control defines male-to-male sexual contact, along with the exchange of sex for money or drugs and injected-drug use, as high risk behavior. CDC guidelines recommend that transplant teams inform patients of the risks associated with transplants from high-risk donors
According to the complaint, the University of Chicago Medical Center was aware of the status of the donor through Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network, which procured the organs.
The woman, whose medical condition before the transplant was not life threatening, says she would not have consented to the transplant had she been aware of the risks of receiving the kidney.
The University of Chicago Medical Center has not commented on the case.
The woman seeks unspecified damages.