According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are almost 3 million blood transfusions done each year in the U.S., averaging 1 out of 10 hospital stays.
Blood transfusions are a necessary and often life saving procedure, however, if handled improperly, it can also be deadly. Hospitals and medical facilities are expected to take extreme care when administrating any type of blood product to their patients. The National Quality Forum has listed any error that happens involving administration of incompatible blood products as a “never event” that is completely preventable and should not ever occur in a healthcare setting.Blood Transfusion Errors
- Incorrect blood type analysis. Often a patient will undergo a blood type analysis that is designed to ensure the correct blood product is used. The blood sample may be mislabeled or incorrectly assigned to the wrong patient.
- Wrong blood product dispensed. Laboratory and medical staff mistakes can lead to the wrong blood product being dispensed and used on a patient.
- Incorrectly labeled blood products. Administrative errors in labeling blood correctly can lead to incompatible blood product transfusions.
- Wrong patient. In some cases, the wrong patient is given a blood transfusion, usually resulting in the patient receiving blood that is not needed and most likely incompatible.
- Expired blood products. Blood products can and do expire and must be checked to ensure that they are still viable for transfusion.
- Kidney failure
- Circulatory collapse