Repeated Mistakes Causes Fatal Blood Transfusion

A report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed a pattern of blood labeling errors at St. Luke’s in Houston during the past year. The report followed a yearlong investigation by both the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica that had documented several lapses in patient care.

Shortly after Thanksgiving in 2018, a 73-year-old woman presented to St. Luke’s for fluid retention post dialysis treatment. She needed emergent treatment. A request was put in to give the patient a blood transfusion, but the order was meant for another patient with a different blood type. Fortunately, the lab caught the error and the patient was not harmed. Unfortunately, a similar mistake occurred four days later. However this time, the lab did not notice when a blood sample arrived with another patient’s blood in it. As a result, a 75-year-old woman was given the wrong blood, which was intended for a patient who had been in the emergency room immediately before her. She died the next day.

When someone is injured or dies due to a health care provider’s negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover.

Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.