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
When a patient must receive a blood transfusion, it is imperative that the blood they receive is compatible. Hospitals and medical facilities must be diligent in insuring that the correct type is given to the correct patient. Unfortunately, there are many errors that can and do occur in the blood transfusion process that are preventable. Some of these errors are:
- 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.
If a patient is given the incorrect blood, regardless of the cause, their body will automatically react by treating the transfused blood as a foreign invader in the body. The immune system begins to fight the new blood as it would a virus or other elements that are potentially harmful. This can be even more dangerous in a patient who is already in poor health or is undergoing surgery. Some injuries that can occur from incompatible blood products are:
- Kidney failure
- Circulatory collapse
Medical errors such as incorrect blood product transfusions can cause irreversible damage to a person’s body and even cause death. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a blood product error you may be facing ongoing medical treatments and loss of income. We understand the frustration and pain these types of medical errors can have on their victims and their families.
Our team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is experienced in handling these types of Chicago medical malpractice cases-- including matters involving incompatible blood types and we will fight for your right to compensation. Please call us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your options. 888-424-5757