Every year, countless patients here in Providence and throughout the rest of the country enter hospitals and surgical centers to undergo procedures. These procedures range from simple surgeries that may take only a few minutes to highly-complex operative sessions involving multiple surgical teams working for many hours. Surgical patients place a great deal of trust on those performing and assisting with their operations. While that trust is typically warranted, it should be remembered that these people are prone to mistakes just like everyone else. It’s when these mistakes involve seemingly simple missteps that lead to potentially fatal consequences that healthcare providers come under fire.
One such error is administering an incorrect blood component. According to data shared by the Pennsylvania Safety Authority, one out of every 10,000 units of transfused blood is administered to the wrong recipient, is some cases even to those with the wrong blood type. Receiving an incompatible blood type can lead to a serious ABO incompatibility reaction, these results of which can be: