Orlando Blood Transfusion Errors Attorneys
Whole blood, red cells, platelets, and plasma are often used for life-saving surgeries as well as to treat cancer, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. In fact, the American Red Cross reports that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood.
While there is no doubt that blood transfusions can save lives, blood transfusion errors can cause life-altering injuries, even death. At Bailey Fisher, we know the devastating effects a blood transfusion error can have on patients and their loved ones and are dedicated to fighting for the rights of blood transfusion error victims and their families to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable.
What Medical Problems Do Orlando Blood Transfusion Errors Cause?
Blood transfusions are necessary to save lives and help patients recover from injuries and diseases. Fortunately, most are safe, with patients experiencing no negative side effects; however, problems and adverse reactions can and do occur. According to the CDC, some of the more common problems include:
- Allergic reaction – The reaction can range from a mild skin irritation or nasal congestion to serious symptoms.
- Acute hemolytic transfusion reaction (AHTR) – If patients are given blood that is incompatible with their blood type, the body will react by destroying the red blood cells in the donated blood. This can lead to pain, fever and serious complications such as kidney failure.
- Hypotensive transfusion reaction – A patient’s blood pressure can drop quickly during a transfusion. If not caught and treated, it could be life-threatening.
- Post-transfusion purpura (PTP) – A rare condition, PTP that results in a significant decrease in platelets can be fatal if not treated promptly.
- Transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) – This occurs when patients cannot process the volume of transfused blood effectively. It can cause fluid in the lungs and difficulty breathing.
- Transfusion-associated dyspnea (TAD) – This transfusion-related respiratory distress can occur quickly after a transfusion.
- Transfusion-associated graft vs. host disease (TAGVHD) – If the T-lymphocytes in the transfused blood attack the patient’s blood, the patient could suffer life-threatening complications.
- Transfusion-transmitted infection (TTI) – If bacteria, a virus or another pathogen is in the transfused blood, the patient could suffer a serious infection.
What Are Common Types of Blood Transfusion Errors?
With nearly 21 million blood components being transfused each year in the U.S., errors are certainly possible throughout the entire complex process of procuring and administering blood products to patients. However, most preventable errors occur during the administration process.
Despite strict safety protocols for administering blood products, hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care providers make preventable errors that can cause serious, even fatal, injuries. Some common blood transfusion errors include:
- Wrong patient. The wrong patient may be given a blood transfusion – a transfusion they did not need and often with blood that is incompatible with their blood type.
- Wrong blood product. When a patient is given a blood transfusion, care must be taken to ensure that the blood used is compatible with the patient’s blood. Giving a patient the wrong blood product can result in serious complications, including Acute Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction, which can cause shock, circulatory distress, kidney failure and other serious injuries.
- Incorrect blood analysis. Before a patient receives a blood transfusion a thorough analysis of the patient’s blood is conducted by the lab (when possible) to make sure that blood products used will not cause further harm to the patient. If the patient’s sample is mislabeled or an error occurs during the blood analysis, it can result in a blood transfusion error and serious complications for the patient.
- Expired blood. Blood products have an expiration date. When expired blood is used, it can cause harm to the patient.
- Contaminated blood. Blood can be contaminated at the time of donation, with infectious diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis, or it can become contaminated after donation because non-sterile equipment was used during the transfusion. Affected patients can develop serious diseases and infections.
- Physician or hospital error. A physician’s order relating to a blood transfusion may be poorly written, causing a patient to receive too much, too little, or the wrong type of blood. Each of these errors can cause life-threatening complications.
- Delays in transfusion. When a blood transfusion is needed, it is often during an emergency, meaning the transfusion must occur as quickly as possible. Unnecessary delays can lead to serious, even fatal, consequences for the patient.
Who Is Responsible for Orlando Blood Transfusion Errors?
Hospitals, labs, lab technicians, doctors and nurses can all make blood transfusion errors. Their demanding schedules, challenging situations and fatigue can lead to clinical and processing errors that negatively impact patient care and safety.
Although safety goals and standards to minimize transfusion errors have been developed by The Joint Commission and health care organizations have implemented procedures and technology to improve patient safety, preventable blood transfusion errors still occur. When one of these errors results in serious injury or death and the error was due to negligence, the patient or his or her survivors in the case of a fatal injury, may be entitled to compensation with a Florida medical malpractice claim.
In the State of Florida, to prove negligence on the part of a hospital, physician, nurse or other health care professional, you must prove four basic elements of negligence, including:
- That the defendant (doctor/hospital/health care professional) owed a duty of care to you (or your loved one, in the case of a fatal error).
- That the defendant breached that duty of care, defined as “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
- That you (or your loved one, in the case of a fatal error) were injured because of the defendant’s breach of duty.
- That the defendant’s breach of duty caused, or substantially contributed to causing, damages to the patient. These damages can be both economic, as in the case of medical expenses and lost income, and non-economic, as in the case of pain and suffering.
Compensation for Damages from Preventable Orlando Blood Transfusion Errors
A Florida medical malpractice claim can hold negligent hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care providers accountable for a blood transfusion error. As the victim of such an error, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for the damages you suffered, including:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Existing and future medical expenses related to the blood transfusion error
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished capacity for enjoying life
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
Florida medical malpractice lawsuits to recover damages from blood transfusion errors can be complex. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have experienced, skilled Orlando medical malpractice attorneys advocating for your rights and pursuing justice on your behalf. The team of experienced attorneys at Bailey Fisher are committed to putting their knowledge, skill and passion for justice to work fighting for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Blood Transfusion Malpractice Attorneys
The Orlando blood transfusion malpractice attorneys at Bailey Fisher Law understand how a blood transfusion error can result in serious physical injuries and emotional trauma that may be life-altering for the patient and his/her loved ones. We are committed to helping victims of medical negligence obtain justice and the substantial compensation they deserve.
If you were injured because of a blood transfusion error, or you lost a family member because of a blood transfusion error, we are committed to ensuring that the responsible party (or parties) is held accountable. We will aggressively advocate for your right to compensation for the physical and emotional injuries that you suffered due to a blood transfusion error.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando blood transfusion error attorneys will evaluate your case for free. For viable personal injury cases, we will follow up with the necessary legal action to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and recover the financial compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, and losses.