Misidentified blood tests can lead to serious consequences

July 21, 2021 | Crandall & Pera Law
Misidentified blood tests can lead to serious consequences

Blood typing and other simple blood tests can pose a serious risk to Ohio patients' health if they are not carried out or recorded correctly, especially when sensitive procedures rely on the results of those tests. Blood type tests, which classify blood based on the presence of antigens and antibodies. Blood types are important in many medical procedures, including blood transfusions and organ transplants. If the wrong blood type is used, the consequences for the patient can be severe.

Medical errors and organ transplants

Organ transplant surgery is complex and dangerous, and medical errors can make the procedure far riskier for the patient involved. In one case, an organ donor's blood type was incorrectly identified and their organs entered into the system with incorrect information, leading to deaths, injuries and other serious consequences for the patients affected. Organs can only be transplanted into recipients with suitable blood types or they will be rejected by the patient, causing serious and potentially fatal trauma. The organ itself will also no longer be available to transplant to what would have been a suitable recipient, further endangering even more lives.

Mistakes that should never happen

Mistaking an organ donor and recipient's blood types is the type of medical error that, in theory, should never happen. This type of error is catastrophic and, while rare, may not even be tracked appropriately. In the case of one man who died because of an incorrect organ transplant, his death was never reported to the state tracking system for serious medical mistakes. In this incident, the blood type was incorrectly registered because the donor patient had received a massive blood transfusion shortly before death, skewing the results. Because of the multiple institutions and systems involved in the organ transplant process, each hospital involved has attempted to avoid liability for their role. Even the most serious and sensitive surgical procedures, where medical facilities and physicians may be expected to show the highest levels of care, may lead to devastating outcomes in the case of a medical error. A medical malpractice attorney could help victims and their loved ones to seek answers and accountability.