Insurance Policy Limits Paid for Transfusion of Contaminated Platelets
Our client’s daughter was diagnosed with a pediatric cancer, which was being treated successfully; however, the daughter’s treatment included occasional platelet transfusions. Unfortunately, the blood bank did not perform the screening tests according to protocol, so a unit of platelets contaminated with bacteria was released to an outpatient facility for transfusion. When the transfusion of the contaminated platelets was started, the little girl had immediate signs and symptoms of a transfusion reaction – which were ignored by nursing staff and physicians. Instead of immediately stopping the platelet transfusion – as required by the standard of care – the young girl was given medication to cover up the symptoms of a transfusion reaction. Soon after the platelet transfusion was completed the young girl lost consciousness and suffered respiratory arrest. She was rushed by helicopter to a critical care hospital, but tragically died a few days later. At the time of her death from the contaminated platelets, the girl’s cancer was nearly in remission and may have been cured.