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University of California, Irvine, Medical Center

Irvine, CA: (Jul-25-07) Over thirty five lawsuits were filed against University of California, Irvine, Medical Center (UCI), after a federal report found that more than 30 people died over a two-year period while awaiting transplants at the hospital. The controversy, which first came to light in late 2005, led to resignations among top officials at the hospital, a federal criminal investigation, and calls for a state inquiry. An investigation launched by federal health care regulators revealed that UCI's program had a one-year survival rate of 68% to 70% between July 2001 and June 2004, far below the federal requirement of 77%. In 2004, university officials met with regulators from the United Network for Organ Sharing. The officials told the network they had hired a new transplant surgeon and persuaded the network to allow UCI's program to continue. Sources claim that between 2004 and 2005, however, 33 more patients died while waiting for livers, even as the hospital turned down scores of organs that might have saved some of them. UCI received 122 liver offers between August 2004 and July 2005, but transplanted just 12. The federal scrutiny came, in part, because of a $50,000 settlement the hospital made with Elodie Irvine, a woman who waited four years for a transplant before going elsewhere.

In a settlement reached, the medical center announced that it would pay $7.5 million to settle allegations. Sources state that individual payouts could range from $50,000 to more than $1 million. [UNION TRIBUNE: ORGAN TRANSPLANT]


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Published on Jul-26-07


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