Lahey Clinic Investigates Organ Donor Death

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A Boston-area hospital says it is investigating the death of a man during a transplant procedure to donate part of his liver to a relative.

The Lahey Clinic in suburban Burlington said Friday it is the first live donor death in its program, which has performed more than 200 similar procedures since 1999, the most in the country.

Spokesman Steve Danehy declined to identify the victim or provide additional information, including when the patient died, citing privacy laws.

The hospital has reported the incident to state health officials and the United Network for Organ Sharing, who did not immediately return calls for comment.

Living donors are a growing source for liver tranplants, since the organ regenerates. Deaths of donors are rare, though there are risks associated with the procedure.

This program aired on June 12, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.