In January 2011, Florinda Gotcher donated one of her kidneys to her brother who was battling kidney disease. The low-risk surgery seemed to go well, but just hours later Gotcher was dead.
Surgeons at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas tried to save her life. When Gotcher took a turn for the worse, they rushed her back into the operating room and discovered something horrible. When they removed her kidney, they put clips on an artery. But the clips fell off and Gotcher, mother of four, bled to death, at age 41.
Keeping them Honest, Gotcher's death was preventable.
Starting in 2006, the FDA, working with the manufacturer of the clips, sent up to six letters to hospitals warning them the clips were unsafe in laparoscopic kidney donor surgeries.
However, an audit by the FDA a year later showed only about half the hospitals acknowledged getting the letters.
The letters also never mentioned patients had died.
Yes, before Gotcher lost her life - there were other donors who met the same fate.
Gotcher was the fifth kidney donor to die because of the clips, while at least 12 others were injured.
Tonight on 360, you'll meet Dr. Amy Friedman, a transplant surgeon in Syracuse, New York, who for the past eight years has tried to get the FDA to do more to warn hospitals and patients the clips can kill kidney donors.
The question many people are asking is could the FDA have done more to prevent the deaths?
Hear what the FDA has to say, along with the manufacturer of the clips tonight on the program.
CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen brings you this story at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with