Cleveland is home to some trusted hospitals, including the renowned Cleveland Clinic. But medical errors can occur at even the best hospitals. According to the FDA, approximately 414 blood transfusion errors occur in the United States each year. Many of these errors are a result of labeling or bedside care errors. Blood transfusion errors are potentially deadly errors. One of the most common errors in administering blood transfusions is giving the wrong blood to the wrong patient. Errors such as giving a patient the wrong blood type can cause the body to react in extreme ways.
A patient given the wrong type of blood can suffer the production of antibodies that attack the unfamiliar red blood cells which causes problems.
- clotting problems.
- kidney failure.
- or, stroke.
There are many pre-transfusion checks that should prevent such dangerous errors, but there are still occurrences of such mistakes and resulting illnesses or fatalities.
Some common errors that result in wrong blood/wrong patient situations are as follows:
- Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors caused by mislabeled blood samples.
- Mistaken identity of a patient—as in the case of giving one patient the blood intended for a patient in a neighboring bed.
- Failure to check the blood type of a patient before the transfusion.
Such errors can cause serious harm or death to the patient who has entrusted his medical treatment to a team of medical professionals. These types of errors are preventable and signal negligence or incompetence on the part of the medical team involved. Medical malpractice could be a factor in cases involving blood transfusion errors.
How do I know if blood transfusion errors are attributable to medical malpractice?
Not all medical errors are the result of malpractice. It is important to be able to distinguish a non-preventable incident from a clear-cut error stemming from inattentiveness or negligence. Proving medical malpractice requires evidence of incompetence or substandard quality of care to be successful. Blood transfusion errors are preventable and are the result of somebody making a serious error.
In order to file a claim, you must document the harm you suffered. This may include additional medical bills incurred, pain and suffering or additional lost wages from the error.
Who is responsible for damages related to blood transfusion complications in Cleveland?
In the case of blood transfusion errors, there is a host of potentially liable parties. The hospital may be responsible for damages in a hospital negligence case, or the doctor could be accountable if he was not properly supervising the transfusion process. Nursing care could be blamed for the error, and in that case the hospital or doctor could still be liable. Laboratory errors could be identified as the cause of the blood transfusion mistake or phlebotomists could have made a labeling error.
A medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine who the responsible party could be in your specific case. Your attorney will also help you gather documentation and evidence to support your claim and build a case against the liable entity. He will file suit on your behalf and deal with any defenses raised by the hospital or other parties.
Call Us Today to Discuss Your Case at No Cost
If you believe you or a loved one suffered injury because of a blood transfusion error in Cleveland, we want to help you sort through details of the event at no cost. During your free consultation, a medical malpractice attorney will also review your options for recovering compensation with you. Schedule your appointment today by calling 877-864-9495 or by completing our online contact form.