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When patients get the wrong blood

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

When Illinois residents need a blood transfusion, they usually trust that doctors will give them the right type of blood. However, physicians may make a mistake and accidentally give a patient the wrong blood. If this happens, the patient may have an incompatibility reaction.

People all have different blood types and it is important for doctors to make sure patients get the right type. According to the American Cancer Society, a person’s immune system may react if the new blood is not the same type, and these reactions can be dangerous. These immune system reactions occur because different people have different antigens in their blood cells. These antigens are not all compatible with each other. For this reason, doctors typically test blood to make sure they know what kind it is before they give it to a patient.

If people receive the wrong kind of blood, they usually experience symptoms immediately. Healthline says that some people may feel nauseated or have chills and a fever. Others may experience chest pain and muscle aches, while some people might have trouble breathing. When patients get the incorrect blood type, it is generally because someone made a mistake. Hospital staff members may have neglected to check the blood type before they gave it to a patient. Someone may also have labeled blood incorrectly or filled out the necessary paperwork with inaccurate information.

When a patient gets the wrong blood, it is important for hospital staff to act quickly. They should typically stop the infusion and perform a blood test to gauge the extent of the reaction in the patient’s blood. Additionally, other members of the medical team should monitor the patient to ensure his or her condition does not worsen.