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Lakeland Ledger



Maureen Massari weeps for her daughter, Jessica Rose Kohut who died Feb. 6, 2009, after getting infected platelets in a supposedly routine transfusion.

Platelets typically are stored at room temperature and are the part of blood most susceptible to contamination, according to Abba Zubair, medical director for transfusion medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

Some hospitals retest blood for bacteria before giving it to patients, experts say.

Cindy Rose, a spokesman for All Children’s Hospital, declined to provide the hospital’s procedures for handling platelets, citing the topic’s relevance to current litigation.

The St. Petersburg-based hospital operates clinics throughout the region. Jessica visited All Children’s Hospital Specialty Care of Tampa, an outpatient facility near the University of South Florida.

The lawsuits alleges that she received platelets on Jan. 27, 2009, that were contaminated with streptococcus viridans.

“It would be dangerous for everybody and it would be much worse for somebody with cancer who is likely to be imunodepressed,” said Zubair, the Mayo expert.

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