Bad Blood – Is the company who provided the blood at fault?

In the 1980s we learned of horror stories where individuals in need of blood transfusions are told months later they have been given blood contaminated with HIV, Hepatitis, and other very lethal and life altering viruses. 

But today is 2015, so can we assume that the blood being provided at our state of the art hospitals and trauma centers, is clean?

Sadly, the answer is no. 

Even today thousands of Americans are learning their blood transfusions have exposed them, or infected them with any number of virus including HCV (Hepatitis), HIV, West Nile Virus, as well as bacterial and parasitic diseases. Recently blood companies have begun testing for something called Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) which is a rare, rapidly progressing neurological disease that causes dementia and death. In 1996, cases of this variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) were first reported in the United Kingdom.

So I ask the question again – in 2015, how does this happen?

Well, it happens for two reasons: Donor error, and blood company error. 

Donor error occurs when a donor does not meet donation criteria but either lies, or doesn’t know enough to answer the screening questions correctly. Blood company error can occur in any number of ways, from testing samples, keeping them the correct temperature, sterility techniques, labeling errors, etc. 

Is it negligence for the company to sell or provide blood that is infected with HIV, HCV, West Nile, etc? Our office certainly thinks so, and we imagine that most Americans do as well. 

If you have been diagnosed with an infection, bacterial or viral, parasitic disease or had some kind of reaction to a blood transfusion, and need help investigating whether the company that provided the blood is at fault, call our office today. 

Can I stress this enough? In 2015 patients deserve better. 

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Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.