Blood Errors

Number 19484
Subject Hospitals
Source Newsday (New York)
State New York
Year 2002
Publication Date April 7-9, May 6, 8, June 2, September 24, 2002
Summary The series -- the result of an intensive Freedom of Information battle with the Food and Drug Administration -- "was two-pronged: an initial (three-part) series found hundreds of hospital patients across the U.S. had died following blood transfusions. The investigation found that "hospital labs mislabeled blood, nurses transfused it into the wrong patients, phlebotomists drew blood samples from the wrong people and, in some cases, deadly contaminated blood was transfused into patients." A secondary investigation "developed as an offshoot of the series. A special blood plasma made on Long Island and sold by the American Red Cross to thousands of hospitals was killing liver transplant patients." Newsday documented 16 deaths in liver transplant patients and found that the plasma was deficient in a crucial protein, making it especially dangerous to people with liver disease.
Pages 35
Keywords blood;hospitals;medicine;American Red Cross;transfusions;Long Island;plasma;Food and Drug Administration;FDA;FOIA;database mapping project
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