Tainted Blood Transfusion Complication Lawyer
You might need a blood transfusion for blood loss or an abnormal blood count. All hospitals and blood banks have very strict rules they must follow regarding safe transfusions. Even with these regulations, staff mistakes and adverse reactions by patients to the infusion of blood can make the process more complex than it has to be, which can result in injury to the patient. Patients and their family should be aware of the possible complications prior to consenting to a transfusion of blood.
Anesthesiology Info says that some 20 percent of the mistakes from blood type incompatibility are committed in the operating room by the attending physician. There are two kinds of blood type incompatibility.
Hemolytic, or red blood cell, incompatibility includes such symptoms as:
- Kidney failure
- Raid heart beat
- Low blood pressure
- Uncontrollable bleeding from skin, ears, mouth, nose or a surgical incision. This is also called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
Non-hemolytic, or non-red blood cell, reactions include the following symptoms.
- Pulmonary edema
- Anaphylactic shock
Anaphylactic reactions require immediate treatment with epinephrine. Pulmonary edema causes respiratory distress by loading the heart and lung tissues with fluid, which is especially dangerous for patients with congestive heart failure. Pulmonary edema requires immediate treatment with a systemic diuretic like Lasix or furosemide.
Delayed reactions to a transfusion can also happen when antibodies form after a blood transfusion that seemed normal. Exposure to incompatible antigens causes such symptoms as:
- Overall malaise
- Decreased blood cell count
A delayed reaction can occur if a mother and her baby have different blood types and the mother has a transfusion later for a complication that is not related to pregnancy.
The diseases with the highest rates of infection from blood transfusions are Hepatitis A, B and C. AIDS-tainted blood transfusions are very rare, says the National Institute of health. Only one patient out of 2,000,000 will be infected by AIDS. In other parts of the world, malaria or toxoplasmosis can be spread during a blood transfusion, but that’s not very likely in the United States because the blood supply is well screened and these diseases are rare in the U.S.
If a patient receives more than two units of blood, coagulation problems may arise. Such reactions to massive blood transfusions can be curtailed if the blood is heated to the patient’s normal body temperature before it is infused into the patient.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia
If a blood transfusion error by a physician caused an adverse reaction that resulted in injury to you or a loved one, contact Rosenbaum & Associates. We have experience dealing with medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey courts. We’ll get you fair compensation for your medical costs and any other damages you may have suffered. We don’t charge you until we win your case. Call us right away so that we can begin the process of making you whole again.