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The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center placed on probation

Published on: Friday, July 15, 2011

Atlanta - At its board meeting today, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors placed the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) on probation. As established in the OPTN bylaws, probation is a public designation of an OPTN/UNOS member that is executing a corrective action plan for a violation of OPTN policies or bylaws or a serious lapse in patient safety or quality of care. Read more about probation.

"This finding is the result of a series of detailed medical peer reviews," said OPTN/UNOS president John Lake, M.D. "The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has identified a need for process improvement in communicating key clinical information among transplant staff members. While the center has acted quickly and responsibly to identify and implement a corrective action plan, we believe probation is warranted."

Summary of Events

UPMC voluntarily suspended living donor kidney and liver transplantation in May 2011 after it was determined that a positive test result in a living donor had not been properly assessed before the transplant. This resulted in transmission of disease from the donor to the recipient. The center resumed living donor transplantation in July, following extensive review of its protocols and corrective action plan by the center and the OPTN/UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPSC) and initiation of the corrective action plan. Previous MPSC reviews of the center had identified other communication and documentation issues requiring correction, which the MPSC considered in its deliberations regarding this action.

The MPSC undertook a systematic due process review, including the following steps:

  • An MPSC interview with representatives of UPMC was conducted July 14, 2011.
  • An MPSC hearing with representatives of UPMC was conducted September 28, 2011.

The MPSC recommended that the institution receive a designation of probation. UPMC waived the right to an appellate hearing before the OPTN Board of Directors. As part of its regularly scheduled November 2011 meeting, the OPTN Board of Directors approved the MPSC's recommendation.