Chapter fifteen in Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration by George D. Pozgar covered a major topic in health care. I found this chapter the most attention-grabbing of the options given to the students to base their paper on.
While the chapter only covered one disease it is how this one disease has affected so many people from patients to health care employees. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome better known as AIDS first appeared in 1981. There are more than 21 million people that have died from the infection of AIDS. A highly contagious blood borne virus caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a fatal disease that destroys the body’s immune system. With the body having a defenseless immune system bacteria and viruses are free to affect the body. I chose to cover the topic of HIV and the effects is has on the health care environment.
HIV has had a dramatic effect on the history screening and testing of blood donations. Since May 1985 all blood donated in the United States received testing for HIV antibodies, p 354. Still there are cases of negligence when the collection of blood is done. In 1983, a blood center knowing that blood from homosexual and bisexual men should not be accepted. The blood center even had a written policy stating that donors who volunteer that they are gay should not be allowed to give. In the case of, J.K & Susie L. Wadley Research Inst. v. Beeson, Mr. B a patient received several units of blood from the blood center during his surgery. Mr. B later going back to the hospital for being sick tested positive for HIV and his wife tested positive. At trial, damages of $800,000 were awarded to Mr. B’s widow. Failing to follow their policy cost a significant amount of money. Patients and hospitals rely on blood centers to properly screen their donors and the blood donated. Donor centers are responsible to tell their donors if their blood comes back positive after testing. Working in the medical field I have seen patients be notified they have a blood disease and should seek treatment. This helps educate people if they cannot be future donors.
Blood transfusions are routinely required in a hospital. In the United States, blood transfusions occurred nearly 3 million times during hospitalizations in 2011, making it the most common procedure performed, (Wikipedia). It is generally known that HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusions even with the standard procedure for screening for AIDS. The most common lawsuits associated to blood are: transfusion of mismatched, improper screening, unnecessary administration and improper handling, pg 354. The patient, in Bordelon v. St. Francis Cabrini Hospital, admitted to have a hysterectomy performed. Before surgery Mrs. Bordelon had provided the hospital with her own blood in fear of receiving contaminated blood. Later, Mrs. Bordelon found out she was given another person’s blood. She brought a lawsuit against the hospital for emotional damages she...