An Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer on Contaminated Blood in Transfusions
A blood transfusion may be necessary for a patient undergoing an invasive surgery or treatment procedure. The source of the transfusion may be either donated blood or a blood product. In either case, an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer cautions that when a blood transfusion is improperly performed, the results can be catastrophic.
Risks of Blood Transfusions
An Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney reports there are two primary types of risks associated with blood transfusions:
- Transfusion reactions, or immune reactions; and
These types of immune reactions occur when the immune system of the blood recipient attacks the infused blood or when the blood causes an allergic reaction. The primary cause of transfusion reactions reported by an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer is error in matching the recipient’s blood and the transfused blood. The majority of cases involve administrative error in labeling the blood or reading the label prior to use. Although most transfusion reactions are minor and can be effectively treated if addressed early, severe reactions may cause anaphylactic shock.
Among the most severe dangers involve the transmission of viral infections in the transfused blood. Diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C and hemophilia can prove fatal. Other infection concerns an Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney has observed include the infection of the blood with bacteria or parasites, which can result in systemic infections. The associated risk is greater with platelets, primarily due to the fact that platelets are typically stored at room temperature.
Negligence and Damages
Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to act as a reasonable professional similarly situated would do under the circumstances. An Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer can explain that any error in the collection, storing, labeling or transfusing of blood that causes injury to a patient may be considered malpractice. One factor that can complicate an already complex issue even more is time; an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer reports that certain viral infections such as Hepatitis C may take years to manifest.
Contact an Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorney for Legal Advice
If you have received a blood transfusion and exhibit any signs of infection, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. Call Vernon J. Petri & Associates, an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer group, at (800) 486-4450 or (317) 780-6610.