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International News

Taiwan: Task Force Head Resigns Over HIV-Positive Organ Transplants

September 2, 2011

The head of Taiwan University Hospital's organ transplant team has resigned in the wake of transplant-related HIV exposures there in recent weeks. Ko Wen-tse, who was responsible for forming and managing TUH's transplant team, took responsibility for the error, which resulted in five patients receiving organs from a deceased donor who had HIV.


TUH transplant team members relied on information from their coordinator, given over a telephone, in which they heard the donor was "non-reactive." HIV test results were usually recorded in English. Without double-checking the test results on a computer database, TUH's transplant team subsequently performed surgeries involving four organ recipients, local media reported. Another organ from the infected donor was used for a surgery at Cheng Kung University, where their transplant team allegedly took the TUH team's word that the donor was non-reactive.

Only after the surgeries were complete did a review of medical records reveal the mistake. TUH publicly announced it had committed the error on Aug. 27.

TUH said all the organ recipients involved are currently receiving medical treatment and care. The hospital asked the general public to respect the privacy of all involved.

The Taipei prosecutor's office is investigating the situation. Meanwhile, island health officials already performed a spot-check at TUH and advised it to adopt a warning system for important medical tests. The TUH transplant team is now required to communicate HIV test results in Chinese.

Back to other news for September 2011

Adapted from:
Xinhua News Agency

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Taiwan Hospitals Fined Over HIV Organ Transplants
Taiwan & HIV/AIDS

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