3 Ways Blood Transfusions Can Hurt You

Blood transfusions occur in 1 out of every 10 hospitalizations that involve a medical procedure.  They have increased significantly in recent years.  From July 2008 – July 2009 the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority received 535 blood transfusion related reports.  Those reports indicated mistakes related to:

  • Blood transfusions being given to the wrong patient;
  • The wrong type of blood being given to the patient; and
  • The blood collection being compromised.  For example, the blood may be labeled wrong.

To prevent serious events and fatalities as a result of blood transfusions, the Patient Safety Authority recommends that certain risk reduction strategies be implemented by medical facilities.   The risk reduction strategies should be provided to staff as guidelines that are clear and easy to follow so that patients can be free from the risks associated with blood transfusions.