Kidney Transplant Program on Hold at NJ Hospital

Ten of 90 patients died in the year after receiving a transplant, during the 30 months ending December 2010

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    Federal officials say a northern New Jersey hospital's kidney transplant program will temporarily shut down until it improves its mortality rate for transplant patients.

    The Record reports the death rate for adults in the year after receiving transplants at Hackensack University Medical Center was three times the national average. Ten of 90 patients died in the year after receiving a transplant, during the 30 months ending December 2010,

    A Medicare spokesman says the hospital voluntarily agreed to the closure. Surgery will cease for four months starting May 18, and program patients will receive medical care throughout the suspension.

    The hospital says more recent data will show no deaths occurred in the year post-transplant during the first six months of 2011. No problems were reported with the pediatric transplant program.