Blood Contamination Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Blood Contamination

Blood contamination is a common risk during many types of medical procedures. The use of contaminated blood in surgery and other medical procedures can result in serious injuries or death to patients, and is usually the result of medical negligence.

If you have been the victim of blood contamination during a medical procedure, the Baltimore medical malpractice law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton can help. Over the firm’s 30+ year history, we have filed more medical negligence cases than any other lawyer or law firm in Maryland and recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients. Have questions? Schedule a free consultation.

Blood Contamination and How it Happens

Blood is the life force of the human body, responsible for carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to your organs and muscles, and fighting disease through the use of white blood cells. During surgery and other medical procedures, blood transfusions are often necessary to keep the body healthy.

Blood contamination is when a sterile, healthy supply of blood is infected by pathogens or other impurities, making it unfit for use in transfusions. Blood contamination commonly occurs for the following reasons:

  • Inadequate cooling and storage
  • Exposure to bacteria
  • Improper screening of blood donors
  • Improper dialysis practices

Blood contamination can also occur if the wrong type of blood is used for a transfusion. For example, if a patient has A-type blood but receives B-type blood during a transfusion, this is a type of blood contamination.

Medical professionals are responsible for ensuring that the blood they use for transfusions is clean and safe to use. These include properly storing blood and ensuring it is not exposed to pathogens, properly screening potential blood donors prior to allowing them to donate blood, and properly labeling the blood for correct typing. Cleaning the skin prior to blood transfusion also considerably decreases the risk of contamination.

Risks of Blood Contamination

Blood contamination caused by a transfusion during surgery or other medical procedure has serious consequences for the patient. These include:

  • Shock
  • Kidney failure
  • Circulatory system collapse
  • Death

These ailments occur because contaminated blood carries bacteria and other diseases that rapidly infect the body. Additionally, the body’s immune system attacks contaminated blood when it enters the bloodstream, causing further complications. Contaminated blood transfusions during a surgery greatly increase the chance of death.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the most common cause of blood contamination is bacterial infection, particularly by Yersinia enterocolitica. Bacterial infection often occurs due to improper storage methods, cleaning, or disinfection. For example, use of inadequate storage material in Denmark and Sweden led to a large amount of blood being contaminated before it could even be used for transfusions.

Dealing with Blood Contamination

If you are the victim of blood contamination during a transfusion, the medical professionals responsible can be held legally liable. Our team of attorneys and medical investigators uses a comprehensive approach to get full compensation for victims of medical negligence in Maryland and Washington DC. Learn how we can help during a free case review.

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