UCSF Medical Center suspends living donor kidney transplant program

Following the death of a kidney donor in November, UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco has voluntarily inactivated its living kidney donor program, according to a KTVU report.

Following the death, the cause of which is still unknown and is under investigation, the hospital immediately notified the United Network for Organ Sharing.

"The safety and well-being of our patients is our top priority, and every effort is being made to understand what happened. We are deeply saddened by this tragic event," a hospital statement reads, according to the report.

The voluntary suspension only applies to the hospital's living donor program for kidney transplants. The hospital is not on probation with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/UNOS.

Last year, surgeons at UCSF Medical Center's transplant center performed more kidney and kidney/pancreas transplants than any other program in the U.S., according to the hospital.

According to UNOS, there have been 12 deaths of living kidney donors within 30 days of donation in the U.S. that were medical in nature between Oct. 25, 1999, and Jan. 23, 2015.

This is not the first time this year a hospital in the U.S. has temporarily halted living kidney donations: Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, Fla., stopped performing live donor kidney transplants after a donor died from a "rare surgical complication" in April.

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