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Blood transfusions come with serious risks

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

People who have surgery, as well as those who have a serious injury, may need a blood transfusion. The process for making this happen isn’t as simple as grabbing blood and getting the IV going. Instead, the patient’s blood type has to be determined so the blood bank knows what type of blood to give them. The donor blood also has to be tested and typed before it’s given to patients. 

When anything goes amiss in the blood transfusion process, there’s a chance that the patient can suffer harm. There are several different things that might occur. Two serious blood transfusion risks include:

Graft-versus-host disease

This usually-fatal condition occurs when your tissues are being attacked by the white blood cells from the donor blood. It’s common in patients who have a weakened immune system. This doesn’t always occur immediately after the transfusion, but will likely appear within a month. Diarrhea, a rash, and fever are the symptoms. 

Acute immune hemolytic reaction

An acute immune hemolytic reaction occurs if the blood that you receive isn’t the correct type. This causes your body to attack the donor red blood cells. Those blood cells produce a toxin that damages the kidneys. This can lead to chest or back pain, dark urine, fever, chills, and nausea. The health care team should stop the transfusion if any of those signs occur. A slower form of this, called a delayed hemolytic reaction can also occur.

Anyone who suffered an injury or reaction to a blood product must determine if this was due to negligence on the part of the medical professionals. If it was, seeking compensation is a viable option. This can help you to recover your financial damages and also sends a strong message to practitioners about keeping patient safety a priority. These cases have time limits in New York, so be sure you get it filed quickly.