Blood transfusions transformed the field of medicine and have saved the lives of countless people. Usually, people have blood transfusions when they are seriously ill, such as when their life is in immediate peril or when they are undergoing extensive surgery.
However, medical negligence solicitors occasionally deal with cases when blood transfusions have gone wrong. Health and safety regulations implemented in this field of medicine have reduced the number of times in which these happen, but when this problem does occur, the results can be serious or even fatal.
Medical Negligence compensation when People Receive Infected Blood
Donated blood goes through many different tests and examinations to ensure that it contains no blood-borne viruses. When people donate blood, they are asked a series of questions that indicate their likelihood of harbouring these viruses. For instance, they might be asked about any unprotected sex they have recently engaged in, or whether they have ever taken a drug intravenously.
When medical professionals take the blood from donors, they will clean and swab the arm and follow other strict hygiene procedures and health and safety regulations to reduce the likelihood of viruses entering the donation.
The blood is then tested in laboratories to ensure it does not harbour any diseases and will not infect the recipient. Unfortunately, these tests are not foolproof, as some diseases do not show up if the donor was only recently infected.
Despite this, all these checks and examinations should have almost eliminated the likelihood of blood donation recipients receiving infected blood, and when infections take place, it is likely that clinical negligence is to blame. Therefore, if you have developed an illness if you were infected with a blood-borne virus after a transfusion, you might be able to make a clinical negligence claim.
The overall value of your medical negligence compensation will depend on the illness you sustained and what your health was like before you received the transfusion. Diseases such as Hepatitis C or HIV are associated with higher payouts than less serious illnesses that are unlikely to lead to fatal outcomes, such as Hepatitis A.
Clinical Negligence Compensation if I Received Blood of the Wrong Type
If you have received the wrong blood type in a transfusion, you will almost certainly be able to make a compensation claim for medical negligence. It is standard practice to test a patient’s blood before they have a transfusion and doctors should be completely certain that they are providing you with the right type of blood before they begin the procedure.
You should be given a wristband that tells medical staff what your blood type is so that mistakes are not made when a new bag of blood is being provided, while tests should have been done on the blood you are receiving.
However, accidents happen. Perhaps the blood you received was incorrectly labelled, or perhaps your blood was not tested properly. Even a brief lapse in concentration could see the wrong bag of blood being transfused into you.
It is a medical emergency if you are given the wrong blood type, as your life will be put at serious risk. Your immune system will begin to attack the donor blood. You may experience fever, anxiety, hypotension and a red discolouration in your urine. The destruction of red blood cells can lead to acute renal failure, jaundice and death.
Doctors should immediately notice this problem and begin remedial treatments, which could save your life. However, people still die every year after receiving the wrong blood type, while others face lasting problems. In the best-case scenario, a person’s hospital stay will be prolonged.
Clerical errors are almost always to blame when people receive the wrong blood type and medical negligence solicitors usually have no problems ascertaining where the problem arose. The clinical negligence compensation you receive should be enough to cover the cost of any expenses you dealt with and should compensate you for your pain, suffering and emotional trauma.
Making a Clinical Negligence Claim following Blood Transfusions
Medical negligence compensation is not just the only reason you should make a case following a negligent blood transfusion. Your claim should also unearth where the problem first arose and can prevent other people from facing similar issues, improving adherence to health and safety regulations and supporting the wellbeing of patients in the future. The healthcare provider’s public liability insurance policy will pay out your compensation, so the hospital will not have to worry about any additional financial burdens.
Speak to medical negligence solicitors to start a claim today. You can also claim for a loved one or dependent who experienced a negligent blood transfusion.