Contaminated Blood Scandal

Did you know that you could be entitled to a blood transfusion claim? Could you be one of the many people affected by the contaminated blood scandal?

Thousands of people around the world receive blood transfusions every day often following a major loss of blood as a result of trauma or during surgery. Blood is also transfused to treat other disorders such as haemophilia, anaemia or other blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia.

A blood transfusion is a lifesaving form of treatment and should be safe for the patient however errors can be made which have catastrophic effects upon the patient and their families.

The most common errors made whilst providing a blood transfusion are:

  • Incorrect blood type being transfused resulting in an ABO incompatibility reaction – This is rare however can still happen and the consequences are serious and potentially life threatening.

Your immune system will attack the transfused blood cells and try to destroy them.  If you have suffered from an ABO incompatibility reaction, within minutes you will exhibit symptoms such as fever, breathing difficulties, chest, stomach or back pain, jaundice or possibly nausea.

Immediate treatment has to be provided and will generally involve admission to the intensive care unit and the administration of IV medication.

  • Contaminated blood being used. – This is the most common error that is made despite screening tests being in place.

Contaminated or infected blood that is given to a patient has resulted in serious infections being contracted.  Such infections include Hepatitis A, B or C, HIV and Human T-cell lymphotrophic viruses (HTLVs) amongst others.

If you believe that you have suffered following a blood transfusion, our experienced lawyers could help you claim compensation that you deserve.

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Compensation claims include:

  • Being treated with contaminated blood
  • Receiving a transfusion in error
  • Incorrect blood type being transfused
  • Receiving a transfusion without consent.

If you or a family member have been injured or have suffered following a transfusion, the next important step is finding a solicitor who understands you and what you have been through.  We are all too aware of the devastating and life changing consequences that errors made during a blood transfusion can have and we are onside to help.

Here at Michael Lewin Solicitors, we pride ourselves on having a high level of expertise, exception service and the sensitive nature within which we will handle your claim.

It is easy to find out whether you have a potential claim and our specialist team of medical negligence experts will be able to talk through your circumstances and provide a free opinion instantly.

We work vigorously to ensure that compensation is awarded, not only for your pain and suffering but also for the cost of future treatment, rehabilitation, care costs and loss of earnings.  We work with you and for you to help you get what you deserve.

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Carol Cook Medical Negligence Solicitor

Carol Cook

Head Of Medical Negligence

Call 0113 200 9787 to speak to one of our personal injury solicitors.

FAQ – Blood Transfusions

1. What is a blood transfusion?

A blood transfusion is often required following an injury or trauma whereby a significant amount of blood has been lost.  It is also required to treat some blood disorders such as sickle cell anaemia.  Blood is taken from a donor and transfused in the hospital through to the receiver.    The blood is transfused by an intravenous line into the blood vessel.  The procedure can last anything from 1 hour to 4 hours dependent upon how much blood is required.

2. What can go wrong?

Despite there being safeguards in place to test blood from donors there are a number of things that can go wrong:

  1. The incorrect blood is transfused
  2. Contaminated blood is transfused
  3. A transfusion is given in error
  4. A transfusions is given without consent.

Any of these errors can have serious, potential life threatening affects upon the receiver and their families.

3. What can I claim for?

Compensation can potentially be claimed for the injuries you have sustained, including psychological injuries, together with a claim for loss of earnings, care costs, medication costs, future treatment costs, rehabilitation costs etc

4. Who can claim?

There are three potential categories of people who are able to claim:

  1. The receiver of the blood
  2. The executor of the estate for the receiver of the blood if they have passed away
  3. Secondary victims – family members who have been affected by the erroneous transfusion.

5. What is the current scandal?

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, there was an increased demand for blood.  The UK had insufficient donors to meet this demand and blood was imported from the USA which was contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis C.   This contaminated blood was transfused to patients and thousands of people contracted HIV or Hepatitis as a result.

In 2007 there was a public inquiry headed by Lord Morris.  Following the high Court Ruling on the 26 September 2016, it is believed that a further public inquiry will be held.

Further details on the scandal can be found here

6. How can I find out whether a deceased relative was affected?

If you believe that a deceased relative suffered following a blood transfusion, contact one of our specialist team who will discuss the circumstances and we may be able to help.  If we consider that there is a possibility that there was an injury suffered following a blood transfusion we will be able to apply for the medical records of your deceased relative and confirm whether they were affected or not.

7. How can I find out if I have been affected?

If you have any concerns about your health or whether you have been affected following a blood transfusion your first point of contact should be your GP who will be able to advise on medical matters.  If you believe that you have been affected then contact our team who will discuss matters further and may be able to help you.

8. I never had a blood transfusion but I have been affected can I claim?

Potentially you may be able to bring about a claim.  If your partner or parent was affected following a blood transfusion.   We offer a free no obligation, confidential assessment, if you consider you may have been affected contact one of our team.

9. How long will the claim take?

Claims of this nature are complex and lengthy however our experienced team work vigorously to expedite matters as quickly as possible.  It is probable though that a claim of this nature will take 12-18 months, possibly longer if the claim has to head to trial.

10. How much compensation will I receive?

Compensation levels vary from person to person due to their differing circumstances.  Rest assured that the clinical negligence team at Michael Lewin are tenacious in their approach to claims and secure the highest possible award for your circumstances.

For further details please contact a member of our team who will be able to advise further.

11. How much will it cost?

If we consider that your claim has reasonable prospects of success we will off you a Conditional Fee Agreement often referred to as a no win no fee agreement

This means that there will be no upfront costs to pay and nothing to pay us if you lose.

To make sure that you are protected from Defendant costs we will discuss with you insurance policies that can be taken out or that may already be in place to protect you.  Rest assured that any insurance premium will only be payable if you win your claim.

12. I have signed a waiver, can I claim?

Potentially you still have a right to bring about a claim however it is important that you act fast and speak to one of our specialist lawyers who will discuss your individual case thoroughly.

13. I have already received a payment through the government scheme, can I still claim?

Yes.  Please contact us to find out more information.

14. What should I do to start my claim?

It’s easy! Call us now on 0113 200 9787 or email us at enquiries@michaellewin.co.uk or complete the short form opposite and one of our legal experts will call you back with an instant decision on whether you have a claim.

Why Choose Michael Lewin Solicitors?

If you or a family member have been injured as a result of poor medical treatment or advice the next important stage is finding a Solicitor who understands you and what you have been through as well as a good solicitor who understands the complex area of law surrounding medical negligence.

Here at Michael Lewin Solicitors we pride ourselves on the high level of expertise and exceptional service we provide to all of our clients.

We make all of our clients the following 5 promises:

Free Initial Advice – Our dedicated team are there to help you and answer any questions you may have.  We always offer a free, no obligation initial advice to anyone who considers that they may have been affected by medical negligence.  So if you’re not sure whether you have a claim or not, call us and let us talk you through it.

Exceptional Client Care – OUR CLIENTS COME FIRST.  This is the ethos our dedicated team of medical negligence lawyers work by.  We understand that our clients have been through a difficult and traumatic time and we pride ourselves on aiming to make the claims process as easy as possible.  We treat all of our clients with the utmost dignity, respect and compassion, we ensure that we are approachable and available to speak to when our client needs us.

We are Specialists – The specialist medical negligence team have years of experience handling medical negligence claims and are supported by external independent medical and nursing professionals and expert counsel.  We aim to ensure that your claim is investigated thoroughly and properly and that no stone is left unturned.

We mean Business –  We are persistent and determined and are not afraid to take on large establishments.  If the evidence is in your favour we will not rest until you have the justice and compensation that you deserve.

We strive to be the best – We are proud of the fact that the majority of cases we pursue are successful and this is due to our hard work, determination and specialist knowledge in this area of law.  As a team, we continuously want to improve and extend our knowledge to make sure that:- our clients are satisfied; that we are up to date with changes in this area of law; and that we are the best that we can be.

If you have some questions on your mind, check out our Medical Negligence FAQ.

What To Do Next:

If you consider that you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, call our specialist team now on 0113 200 9787 or email enquires@michaellewin.co.uk for free, confidential advice.

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