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What to Do if You Receive the Wrong Blood Type During a Transfusion

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What to Do if You Receive the Wrong Blood Type During a Transfusion

What to Do if You Receive the Wrong Blood Type During a Transfusion

Sometimes, medical procedures can be a manner of life or death for people suffering from rare medical conditions, severe sicknesses, or painful injuries. In the cases of patients who require a blood transfusion, the donation of a single blood packet can be enough to save or prolong their lives. However, this process requires the utmost precision and attention.

If the patient receives the wrong blood type, he or she can quickly suffer from life-threatening side effects, as their body will reject the unmatched blood. If you or a loved one has suffered from ABO incompatibility or another painful situation after receiving the wrong blood type, you will have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. With the help of a lawyer who is experienced in medical malpractice suits, you can create a viable case in court.


What to Do if You Receive the Wrong Blood Type During a TransfusionBefore we begin, let’s take a closer look at the intricacy of the procedure in question.

Simply put, a blood transfusion is a medical procedure during which a doctor replaces blood that has been lost by means of an injury or impurified due to a disease or sickness. Through standard procedure, a needle will be inserted into a vein, while the blood is fed through the intravenous catheter. Some of the most common requirements for a blood transfusion are:

  • Severe injury
  • Intense surgical procedure
  • An illness that triggers excessive bleeding (for example, a bleeding ulcer)
  • An illness that obliterates blood cells (like hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia)
  • An illness that puts a damper on bone marrow production (aplastic anemia)

Keep in mind that, mostly, blood transfusions are simple and safe procedures that are common practice for hospital staff. Also, the chances of getting the wrong blood type is extremely unlikely (4 incidences out of 1 million units dispatched), but it can take place.


Although the chances are highly unlikely for you to receive a wrong blood type, this incident has still taken place. If a person receives a blood type that does not match theirs, the immune system may begin to attack this new blood type (as it will see the unmatched blood as a threat). This incident is known as ABC incompatibility.

In most cases, people who have a single blood type (A, B, AB, or O) will create antibodies that will defend their body from foreign blood. In the case of ABC incompatibility, the victims’ bodies will begin to reject the new blood, putting their lives at risk. Here are the ways blood types can clash:

  • Type A blood typically clashes with Type B or AB.
  • Type B blood typically clashes with Type A or AB.
  • Type AB blood will typically not clash with Types A, B, or AB.
  • Type O blood will always clash with Types A, B, or AB.

One unique exception is Type O blood. People with this type are identified as “universal donors,” as their blood can be given to anyone with any blood type. However, these individuals can only receive Type O blood.


Under the State Law of Delaware, patients will have rights for compensation, based on specific criteria surrounding the misdiagnosis. Keep in mind that, under Chapter 68-subsection 6852, patients will not have the right to receive compensation if a related procedure or treatment options were not part of an emergency situation. Under the circumstances that the doctor will not face charges if he or she provided small quantities of information in a manner that is customary to their practice.


For people who are suffering from a disease or even individuals who have sustained severe injuries, blood transfusions are lifesaving procedures, but the process can quickly become dangerous if you receive the wrong blood type. No one should be put in so much danger at any time. Here at Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson, our team of professional attorneys are passionate about our practice and are fully knowledgeable in the laws, rules, and statutes surrounding unfortunate malpractice incidences throughout the State of Delaware. We can guarantee you will receive the justice you deserve. For legal advice and for more information about our services, contact our office today at 800-300-0909.

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