Transplant Kidney Tossed Into Trash

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TOLEDO, OH. (CNN)  - We’ve all been there- scavenging through the trash, looking for that important document, or piece of jewelry, you accidentally threw away.  But what about a life-saving organ?

Well, at the University of Toledo Medical Center, a "mishap" shut down an entire donor transplant program.

The Toledo Blade newspaper reports a nurse accidentally threw a kidney from a living donor, in the trash.

UT Medical Center is under fire after a botched kidney transplant. No one at the medical center was available for comment but released a statement saying that the kidney was ruined during the procedure due to human error. In the wake of this mis-step, the living donor transplant program has been suspended.

Obviously not what anybody looks forward to.

Doctor Akinfemi Afolabi specializes in kidney function. He thinks the university is just following procedure.

I don't think it's unusual to suspend a program and reassess.

Prior to this incident, the medical center has performed more than 1,700 renal transplants with a 98% success rate, among the best in the United States. And while it’s become a successfully performed procedure, doctor Afolabi encourages preventative measures, but he says the amount of people in need of a kidney has not been improving.

The number of people needing a kidney transplant have also increased, but as a percentage of the people that need transplants, I’m not sure we've made much progress.

He says there are 700,000 with stage 5 kidney disease and of that, about 20% are waiting for a kidney. The family involved in this instance was reportedly told that there was a good chance of finding another compatible donor, but with 140,000 people waiting, every extra kidney, counts. Which is disheartening when every person has one to give.

Nobody needs two kidneys. We're blessed with two kidneys. If you donate one kidney, you can live well with the one remaining kidney for a long time.

A nationally recognized expert in renal transplant is headed to the University of Toledo Medical Center to review the hospital's living kidney donor program.

Two nurses are on paid administrative leave.