Blood transfusions have become essential to modern medicine, but they come with inherent risks that patients need to know. Like most medical procedures, there are some unpreventable risks with blood transfusions but also risks that health professionals should mitigate. Here is what you need to know about life-saving blood transfusions and the risks involved with these procedures.
Perhaps the most significant danger of blood transfusions is the possibility of receiving contaminated blood. If the transfused blood is not properly screened for infections, patients may contract serious diseases from the transfusion, including HIV, hepatitis B and C, and viral infections like West Nile virus and Zika.
Another risk associated with blood transfusions is the possibility of an allergic reaction. Some patients may be allergic to certain proteins in the donor’s blood, which can cause a range of symptoms, including hives, itching, shortness of breath, and even anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI)
Transfusions can also lead to transfusion-related acute lung injury, a condition where the lungs become inflamed, and fluid accumulates in the air sacs, leading to difficulty breathing and low oxygen levels. This condition is more likely to occur in patients who receive multiple transfusions or have pre-existing lung problems.
Deadly Blood Transfusion Reactions
One of the most significant dangers of blood transfusions is the possibility of transfusion reactions. These can occur for a variety of reasons, such as the incompatibility of blood types or the presence of antibodies in the patient’s blood that react with the donor’s blood. Symptoms of transfusion reactions can range from mild to severe, including fever, chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting, and in severe cases, can lead to kidney failure, shock, and even death.
In addition to these risks, blood transfusions can also lead to iron overload, a condition where the body accumulates too much iron. This can occur in patients who receive frequent transfusions, as the body cannot eliminate excess iron from the donated blood. Over time, excess iron can damage vital organs such as the liver, heart, and pancreas, leading to serious health problems.
Medical Malpractice Due to Blood Transfusion Negligence
Hospitals and blood banks have implemented strict screening and testing protocols to mitigate these risks to ensure that donated blood is safe for transfusion. However, if these protocols are not followed precisely, blood transfusions can cause extensive harm to patients. When adverse reactions occur due to medical negligence or a patient is harmed due to not receiving a blood transfusion quickly enough, patients and their families may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the provider.
Blood transfusions are essential for many medical procedures, but they come with inherent risks that need to be mitigated by medical professionals. When mistakes are made during the blood transfusion process, it can be harmful to the patient; if you believe you or a loved one was injured due to blood transfusion negligence, contact our team at Moriarty Injury Lawyer. Call our office in Atlanta, GA, for a free legal consultation regarding your medical malpractice claim.
Posted on behalf of Moriarty Injury Lawyer
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