What is Contaminated Blood Transfusions
Although blood transfusions are meant to save lives, they can cause permanent injuries or illnesses. When most people hear about contaminated blood transfusions, they think it only applies to transfusions that were performed decades ago. There were many occurrences of people who received transfusions in the past finding out later that they had contracted blood-borne diseases. Hepatitis C and HIV were two common viruses contracted from blood transfusions. However, damages from blood transfusions reach beyond viruses. When medical professionals do not follow important safety standards, patients who receive blood transfusions may develop serious infections or die.
How Do Blood Transfusion Injuries And Deaths Happen?
Some conditions such as anemia and hemophilia require regular blood transfusions. People may also receive a blood transfusion after having surgery or losing blood because of an injury. When blood is needed, the person who needs the blood is tested. Any donors who want to give blood are also tested for infectious diseases or viruses. Donor blood that passes screening and matches the blood type of the person who needs blood is used in a transfusion. This process transfers the donated blood into the person who needs it using an IV.
If the blood was not properly screened, patients may contract serious illnesses. While tests are more thorough these days, some screenings may not be conducted properly. Another problem that happens more often than someone contracting HIV is a blood infection. A patient can develop sepsis from a blood transfusion. If the blood is not handled properly or professionals do not follow the right procedures and safety protocols, the blood can become contaminated with bacteria. Sepsis is a bacterial blood infection that progresses quickly and is hard to treat. In some cases, patients who develop sepsis go into septic shock and die.
Patients may also receive the wrong type of blood. This happens if blood is labeled incorrectly or if patient charting errors are made. Although it rarely happens, patients who do receive the wrong type of blood will have a severe adverse reaction. Symptoms usually include fever, muscle aches, chills and other symptoms immediately after the transfusion. Doctors and nurses are aware that the wrong type of blood or a septic infection can cause severe symptoms after the transfusion. In some cases, the reaction to receiving the wrong type of blood may lead to death.
I Am A Blood Transfusion Medical Malpractice Victim. What Should I Do?
When any of these nightmares become a reality for you, you are a victim of medical malpractice. Medical professionals are required to adhere to the strictest standards and failure to do so is unacceptable. If you received a blood transfusion and contracted a serious long-term illness or suffered from a blood infection, you may be entitled to compensation. If you have a family member who died from medical malpractice related to a blood transfusion, you may also be entitled to compensation. Your injuries or any illnesses you developed from blood transfusion negligence will cost you in the future. You may lose income, require more medical care and have additional needs. To learn how to receive the money you need and deserve, discuss your case in confidence for free with one of our experienced attorneys.