Blood Transfusion Negligence

Blood transfusions are a common need of patients admitted to hospitals. They can save people’s lives after an accident or while in surgery and losing blood due after a significant trauma. Additionally, they are used to treat blood conditions such as haemophilia. If in any of these cases the blood used for the transfusion is contaminated or the medical staff use a blood type incompatible to the patient’s blood group, it can have severe consequences.

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It always depends on the individual case who is liable for medical negligence. Possible responsible individuals are the administering nurse but also the assigned doctor in the hospital, if they have not properly supervised the transfusion or delegated it. Other than that, also the hospital itself can be held responsible for negligent treatment carried out by its medical staff. Lastly, also the companies manufacturing or and supply blood products can be liable, as they have to prevent contamination and stop any contaminated products before being used on patients.

If any of these possible scenarios have occurred and a patient has suffered from negligent medical treatment or suppliers and manufacturers have failed in their duty to provide uncontaminated blood products, a claim for compensation could be an option for patients and they should contact an experienced solicitor to help them assess their individual situation.

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Are You Eligible To Make A Claim?

If a patient has experienced a negligent treatment like this, they could be able to claim compensation with the help of an experienced solicitor. Common scenarios of malpractice which can lead to the possibility of a blood transfusion claim are:

  • Transfusion with a wrong blood type: If a patient receives a transfusion with a blood type that differs from their own, they can suffer from incompatibility reactions which can result in organ damage or even be fatal. If such a reaction occurs, it should also be immediately recognised and treated by medical staff.
  • Transfusion that is not necessary: It is also possible that for example due to a mix-up the wrong patient is receiving a blood transfusion. This is not only problematic because it could be the wrong blood type – it also means that the patient has not properly been informed or consulted about the procedure and not given their full consent to it. Another scenario would be that the patient was misdiagnosed.
  • Errors while administering the blood transfusion: Generally, blood transfusions will regularly be carried out by non-physicians. As they are invasive there are several risks involved: the needle used could be too long, which can lead to blood being injected into the wrong space, an infection could occur because of a non-sterile needle. If the needle is wrongly inserted, a nerve damage could be the consequence.
  • Transfusion with contaminated blood: The main contaminants found in blood and blood products used for transfusion are Hepatitis A, B and C viruses and in rare cases also HIV. Through the transfusion these viruses can be passed on to the patient leading dangerous infections.

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