Investigation against Hamburg clinic: suspected manipulation of organ donation
According to media reports, Hamburg doctors have manipulated patient data so that they can get to a donor organ faster. Irregularities were found in 14 cases. The clinic rejects the allegations. In the meantime, the Hamburg public prosecutor's office has launched an investigation.
Serious allegations against Hamburg clinic
According to a report by the "NDR", serious allegations are being made against the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). It is believed that data from 14 lung patients has been misrepresented to provide the patient with faster access to a donor organ. According to the information, the UKE is working on a lung transplantation program with LungenClinic Großhansdorf. According to the "NDR", extensive original patient files have disappeared.
File suppression investigations
According to information from the NDR political magazine "Panorama 3", the Hamburg public prosecutor's office is investigating the two clinics for "file suppression".
The criminal investigation was apparently triggered by a report from a surveillance commission that reviewed Hamburg's “lung transplant program” last year.
The UKE wrote in a press release: "The examination and monitoring commission, which is supported by the German Medical Association, the GKV umbrella association and the German hospital society to check compliance with the transplant law, carried out routine tests of the lung transplant program of the University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). , in which LungenClinic Großhansdorf is involved, complained about abnormalities for the years 2010 to 2012. "
Irregularities in 14 cases
"In 14 out of 25 cases examined, the commission complained about irregularities - among other things, it concerns medical data and their documentation," it continues.
The health status of the lung patients was depicted worse than it actually was. According to the report, doctors sometimes submitted values to the “Eurotransplant” agency for donor lungs for their patients that suggest a life-threatening condition.
Patients should apparently slide up the waiting list and get to a donated lung faster as “high-urgency cases” (cases with high urgency).
Files were no longer found
In addition, the inspectors described the fact that the original files were "untraceable" on a large scale as "very extraordinary".
In her report of September 27, 2016, for example, it says: "As to the untraceability of the medical files of the patients treated in Großhansdorf, the doctors responsible there stated that the files were regularly given when their patients were transferred for transplantation in the UKE, but could no longer be found there and also not been returned. Despite repeated and urgent requests from the commissions to intensively research the whereabouts of the files in both the LungenClinic and the UKE, the original documents have so far not been made available. "
Systematic misconduct by doctors
"The missing documents (...) substantiate the suspicion that systematic misconduct by the doctors involved should be prevented from being discovered in this way," the report says. "In the report, we wanted to express very clearly how unique the process is," explained Torsten Verrel, professor of criminal law at the University of Bonn and member of the monitoring commission, in an interview with "Panorama 3".
The UKE rejects the allegations and wrote in its statement of October 13: "The UKE in cooperation with LungenClinic Großhansdorf acknowledges justified criticisms from the review report, but emphasizes that there are no indications of any interference with the ranking of patients on the transplant list gives."
Organ donation numbers have dropped dramatically
As early as 2012, an affair about manipulated patient data had shaken transplant medicine in Germany. At that time it became known that a medical doctor at the University Hospital in Göttingen had forged medical records in order to enable selected patients to get donor organs more quickly. More and more scandals were uncovered, among others in Munich, Regensburg and Leipzig.
As a result of the organ donation scandals, organ donor numbers in Germany had plummeted. Figures from the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO) show that in 2013 only 876 dead people donated organs. Compared to the last 23 years, this represented a new negative record for the Federal Republic. (Ad)