Doctors Gave Their Patient Cancer By Giving Him The Wrong Kidney During Transplant

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A dad-of-two missed out on potentially life-saving treatment after a double kidney transplant because a surgeon made a transcription error, an inquest was told.

Parminder Singh Sidhu, 49, died in agony in March after doctors gave him a cancerous kidney transplant. Two other patients who later received organs from the same donor developed cancer.

The coroner concluded that the death was the result of a rare complication of a planned transplant. Sidhu’s case was considered so rare that there was no reason to suspect the organ, since the donor herself had no history or signs of cancer.

Mr. Sidhu, from Hounslow, West London, had a kidney transplant in 2005, but began having problems with the organ during the lockdown. He decided to have another transplant.

He had a kidney transplant at Hammersmith Hospital in April last year, but started to develop pain in his hip that winter. A further scan revealed a 7cm growth on the donated kidney. The doctors re-examined the initial scan and found they were missing signs of cancer.

After 21 years, Sidhu decided to remove his kidney, but doctors failed to spot the cancer had spread to his spine.

Tests revealed the cancer was not lymphoma, but the organ itself had cancer. The medics were unaware of this fact. NHS Blood and Transplant assesses all potential donors and tests for infections to reduce the risks associated with a transplant. However, some very early cancers cannot be picked up on inspection.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust accepted the inquest’s findings and said it would learn from the incident to improve patient care.

Sidhu’s brother is now helping to support his wife, their 20-year-old son Jagdeep, and their 13-year-old daughter Manmeet. He said watching his brother die was torture and that his niece is traumatized.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.