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The Liability for Improper Blood Transfusion

One of the most critical parts of hospital care is blood transfusion. This simple procedure can save lives, but improper practices can lead to severe injury or even death. Hospital staff must take extra care when administering blood transfusions because they are important in patient care.

When errors occur during blood transfusion malpractice, victims and their families may be left with lifelong disabilities and other serious health problems that require costly medical treatment and therapy, such as kidney failure or acute hemolytic transfusion reaction.

Suppose you sustain an injury or bodily damage from a hospital’s negligence during a blood transfusion or have lost a loved one because of an error during this procedure. In that case, you must speak with an experienced attorney about your legal options for pursuing compensation for these losses.

Prevention of Errors in Blood Transfusion

The risk of blood transfusion errors can be reduced by:

  • Training hospital staff
  • Proper record-keeping and patient monitoring

To prevent complications, hospital staff must receive training in proper procedures for blood transfusion, including testing, donor verification, and patient monitoring. Also important is proper record keeping so that any mistakes can be tracked back and corrected before they cause serious health problems for a patient.

Common Causes of Blood Transfusion Malpractice

The most common causes of blood transfusion malpractice include:

Orders Miswritten or Misunderstood

Medical orders need to be written in a clear and precise language.

It is equally vital to double-check orders before administering a blood transfusion or any other procedure that could harm the patient.

You should ask questions if you are unsure about the order or if it seems unclear.

You should discuss the order with the patient if possible, since they may have valuable information about their health status and preferences for treatment. If this is not possible due to injury or unconsciousness, the hospital should consult the family members instead; they are often better informed than doctors when making decisions regarding the care of their loved ones.

Lack of Proper Donor Verification

Improper blood transfusions can be a serious matter, and knowing how proper donor screening can help prevent untoward consequences is essential. For example, if you receive a transfusion from an infected donor, you could develop hepatitis or other infectious diseases. Similarly, improper testing for blood type could result in you receiving incompatible blood that leads to hemolytic illness or even death.

The first step in safe and effective blood transfusions is asking donors plenty of questions before they give their donation. Don’t just ask if they’re healthy; dig deeper by inquiring about their family history regarding any diseases (such as diabetes) and whether they’ve ever had surgery or taken any medications recently—both of which may affect what they can donate.

Find out more information about blood banks and national databases such as those used by hospitals and labs. Try and verify that each prospective donor has been screened for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B/C. Include tests for viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Improper Testing

Before administering a blood transfusion, hospitals and other medical facilities conduct extensive testing of both the donor and recipient to ensure no complications.

While it is true that these tests are effective in ensuring patient safety, they are not foolproof. In fact, many tragic cases have occurred due to improper testing procedures.

Poor Record-Keeping by Hospital Staff

Poor record-keeping by hospital staff could lead to errors in blood transfusions. This can create liability for you as a hospital administrator.

Staff may be unable to locate a patient’s medical records, which means they do not know if the patient is allergic to anything or has any other health conditions that need to be considered before administering a blood transfusion.

They may also fail to locate information about the patient’s medical history, including past surgeries and other procedures that may have affected their body in ways that would make it unsafe for them to receive certain blood products.

Incompatibility Between Donor and Recipient

Donor and recipient blood types must match. The wrong blood type will lead to mismatched red blood cells, which may cause a reaction in the recipient’s body that could lead to organ failure, brain damage, and death.

In extreme cases where someone must receive lifesaving treatment, doctors may take the chance of using incompatible donor/recipient pairs—though they should be prepared for possible complications brought about by foreign blood cells when they do so.

Negligence or Lack of Training of Hospital Staff

The nurse who administered the transfusion may have been negligent or lacked training in the importance of blood transfusions. As such, they may not know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a blood transfusion error.

Failure to Monitor Patients While Receiving Treatment

Suppose a doctor’s error injures you during surgery. In that case, it may be possible for your medical malpractice claim to include compensation for damages related to the failure to monitor your condition while under anesthesia.

The Liability for Improper Blood Transfusion

Although many safeguards are in place to prevent this kind of thing, there are still times when it does occur, and patients suffer serious injuries. When this happens, they may be able to sue their doctor or hospital for medical malpractice.

Suppose they can prove that their doctor was negligent & caused their injury by giving them an improper blood transfusion. In that case, they may be able to recover financial damages for their suffering & any other costs incurred as a result of the accident.


Patients treated at a hospital may feel safe & secure that their healthcare team is working hard to help them recover. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned.

If you or a loved one has experienced blood transfusion malpractice at the hands of a doctor or nurse, it is crucial that you reach out to J.P. Ward & Associates. We can help you seek compensation if your loved one was harmed by a medical mistake at the hospital.

We have a team of legal professionals experienced in medical malpractice cases & will work to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Call our law firm today at (412) 426-4878 for a free consultation.