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Blood Transfusion Reactions Stemming from Wrong Blood Type

Mellino Law Firm

What Is a Wrong Blood Type Transfusion?

There are eight blood types: A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+, and O-. All blood types can receive blood of the same type, but certain blood types are incompatible with others. For instance, all blood types can receive type O blood, but type O can only receive type O. Those with type AB blood can also receive A or B blood. Further, positive blood types can receive positive or negative blood, but negative blood types can only receive negative blood.

When a patient is given the wrong blood type, his or her immune system attacks the incompatible blood cells. This can lead to hemolysis, which is characterized by the breakdown of the red blood cells.

Symptoms of Blood Transfusion Reactions

A patient may suffer the following adverse reactions during the transfusion or shortly thereafter:

  • fever;
  • chills;
  • shock;
  • chest pain;
  • lower back pain;
  • bloody or darkly colored urine;
  • a burning sensation along the vein receiving the transfusion;
  • kidney failure;and
  • death.

Signs of a problem are generally seen within 24 hours of the transfusion but may not develop for several days.

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim If I Was Given the Wrong Blood Type?

Millions of people undergo blood transfusions every year in the United States. Some are due to illness, others are due to serious injury or a surgical procedure that results in blood loss. Blood that has been donated is tested, not only to determine what type it is but to make sure it’s safe. Properly labeling the blood is critical to avoid mistakes.

If, however, you are the victim of a transfusion error, medical malpractice damages may cover medical expenses you incurred, such as additional time spent in the hospital and treatment for your injuries. If you missed work, your lost earnings may be recoverable.

If a blood transfusion mistake results in fatal injuries, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim for medical costs, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses.

If you have any questions about your blood transfusion, call us at (440) 276-3535 for a free case evaluation.

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