Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list

A probe into German transplant centres sparked by an organ donor scandal has revealed 14 cases of a doctor fiddling medical records at one of Germany’s leading heart centres.

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list
Photo: DPA

The 14 cases at the German Heart Institute of Berlin (DHZB) between 2010 and 2012 were confirmed by the German Medical Council on Tuesday in Berlin. Incorrect statements were made about medical conditions and medicine wrongly prescribed so that patients appeared sicker than they were and would climb the transplant waiting list.

The doctor suspected has been suspended and prosecutors have launched an investigation into attempted manslaughter.

A spokeswoman for the heart centre said she was unable to comment on the case as it was a legal matter.

Three violations involving kidney and liver transplants were also found at Berlin’s Charité hospital. Irregularities were also uncovered at Regensburg and Hamburg university hospitals, the Medical Association said. 

The nationwide probe into 33 transplant centres and 60 transplant programmes was prompted by a case in 2012 involving a doctor at Göttingen University Hospital. Aiman O. is currently on trial for manipulating patient information to get them moved to more urgent status on the liver transplant list.

He is also accused of attempted manslaughter as patients sicker than his were forced to wait longer for donor livers. The doctor denies the charges.

Demand for organ donations in Germany is high. More than 10,700 patients are waiting for a transplant, but the number of donors is decreasing.

The German Organ Transplant Foundation (DSO) said in August that 2014 could be a record-low year for organ donation, after already seeing a 15-percent drop from 2013 to 2014. 

SEE ALSO: Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list

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