Blood Donor Injuries

Blood Donor Injuries 

As a medical malpractice lawyer, I am occasionally asked to get involved in cases that do not fit squarely under the definition of a medical claim, but involve significant understanding of sophisticated medical issues or demand the type of resources needed to litigate a medical claim.  One such example is traumatic brain injury litigation, which is demanding in terms of medical knowledge and frequently requires substantial resources to pay for qualified experts.  Likewise, injuries arising out of blood donation may require the services of an attorney who has significant medical background and resources.

There are generally two key injuries that occur in the course of or immediately following a blood draw.  First, a nerve injury can occur.  Second, the patient can suffer a syncopal episode and, if not properly monitored and protected, fall sustaining a serious injury or crash their car causing serious injury or death to others.  The risk of injury is estimated to be between less than 1% up to 20%.  The risk is greater when a patient donates blood as opposed to venipuncture for purposes of laboratory test (e.g., CBC) where the volume of blood drawn is markedly less.  The risk of a syncopal episode, which carries the most serious risk of injury, is greater when the blood donor is young or new to giving donations.

The field of blood donation is subject to a variety of industry standards, including standards published in the Code of Federal Regulations, the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).  In addition, the American Red Cross publishes policies and procedures that set forth standards of care at their donation sites.  Finally, some States require phlebotomists to be licensed and otherwise regulated (surprisingly, many do not).  Like medical malpractice claims, lawsuits arising out blood procurement-related injuries require a careful evaluation of all available documentation and an interview of all eyewitnesses.  Details matter in these cases. In most states, the statute of limitations applicable to premises liability claims differs from the statute of limitations applicable to a medical malpractice claim. Since an injury arising out of blood donation is a bit of a hybrid claim, it is important to contact a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer such as from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co, LPA, as soon as possible after an injury is sustained during or immediately after blood donation, so that the lawyer can protect your legal rights in a timely manner and conduct an extensive factual investigation while the evidence is still fresh.

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