- The blood you were donated was contaminated with a disease such as Hepatitis or HIV, causing you to become infected;
- The wrong (incompatible) blood type was donated to you – this can have life-threatening consequences and can result in long term kidney damage and other serious injuries;
- You suffered from fluid overload because too much blood was given to you – this can cause swelling and even heart failure;
A recent inquiry has found that tens of thousands of people received contaminated blood and blood products through the NHS as far back as 1970. Our specialist team of solicitors are here to offer support to claim compensation for victims who have been affected. Our team has helped countless people claim millions in compensation after suffering because of medical negligence. Nothing can take back what has happened to you, but we can help you get the justice you deserve.
How Did Contaminated Blood Get Given to Patients?
This was usually through blood transfusions. A blood transfusion can be a life-saving procedure for someone who has suffered major blood loss following an accident, surgery or childbirth, or for people with conditions like haemophilia or leukaemia. A person requiring a blood transfusion has often already experienced a lot of pain and suffering, and while blood transfusions are generally very safe, if something goes wrong during the process, they may have suffered further harm which could have been avoided. If you or your loved one experienced blood transfusion negligence, we could help you make a claim for compensation.
Donated blood goes through rigorous testing and handling to check it is uncontaminated and compatible with the person’s blood type. Despite this, there are some cases where mistakes and oversights are made with blood transfusions – whether this is before the blood arrives at a hospital, or in the follow-up to the transfusion itself.
What Support is Available for Victims of Contaminated Blood Transfusions?
The Infected Blood Inquiry started in 2018 and has reviewed thousands of documents and testimonies from patients. It has been revealed that, in the 1970s and 80s, around 1,250 people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders contracted HIV – and tragically about half of this group later died from an AIDS-related illness.
A further 30,000 NHS patients are thought to have contracted Hepatitis C - through the same contaminated treatment, or a blood transfusion after surgery or childbirth. It is estimated around 2,050 of these people later died of liver failure or cancer caused by this contamination.
This has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS and many of those who were infected had to give up their jobs and live on benefits because of their serious health problems.
Although the inquiry is yet to formally conclude, many victims and loved ones of those who suffered from contaminated blood transfusions have been able to access ‘interim payments’ of compensation.
As well as accessing government compensation schemes, it’s possible for you to make a ‘civil claim’ with one of our Medical Negligence lawyers, whether you have been affected by contaminated blood or any other type of medical negligence involving a blood transfusion.
For many people, the recognition and sense of justice compensation brings is the most important part of making a Medical Negligence claim.
Get in touch with our expert team today who will find out everything we can about your situation and let you know about your legal and financial options so that you can achieve the best outcome for you and your family.
We could help you make a claim for compensation if:
- Your condition was misdiagnosed or your notes were mixed up with another patient’s – meaning that you were unnecessarily given a blood transfusion;
- You were inadequately monitored during or after your transfusion or administrative errors were made causing you to develop health complications;
- You were given a blood transfusion without being fully consulted or giving your consent – blood transfusions are an invasive procedure and it is important you are made aware about the associated risks.
Although medical negligence is rare when it comes to blood transfusions, when it does happen, as can be evidenced in this recent inquiry, it can have tragic and fatal consequences. You or your loved one may have had to spend much longer in hospital than anticipated, and might be suffering with long-term medical complications because of someone else’s mistakes.
While we know that compensation cannot reverse what has happened, we could help you recover any lost earnings from time you have had to take off work, and access any specialist care and support you might need now and in the future. Our job is to help you live the best quality of life you can by helping you access the compensation you deserve.
If you or your loved one have been affected by contaminated blood or any other type of medical negligence involving blood transfusion, our Medical Negligence lawyers are here to help you. Get in touch with our team today for a Free Case Assessment and we’ll let you know if you could make a claim for compensation.
What is the Duty of Care of Medical Professionals?
As with any medical procedure, doctors and medical professionals have a duty of care to protect you from unnecessary harm before, during and after a blood transfusion. If they are found to have breached this duty of care, we could help you make a claim for compensation. Here are some examples of processes medical professionals should follow when it comes to blood transfusions:
- Conduct screening procedures with blood before it reaches the hospital to identify and eliminate any contaminated blood;
- Exclude high-risk blood donors, for example people with Hepatitis or HIV;
- Treating blood with heat or solvent to prevent contamination;
- Ensure patients are fully informed about a blood transfusion and the risks involved where possible;
- Ensure the correct blood type is given to a patient e.g. providing a patient with a wristband that displays their blood type or correctly labelling blood at a laboratory.
If any part of these processes failed, our specialist Medical Negligence team can investigate the situation fully to determine how the negligence happened and who was responsible so that we can secure you the compensation and justice you deserve.
To see if you could make a claim, contact us for a Free Case Assessment and we’ll listen to your situation and let you know the next steps.
Why Choose Simpson Millar?
Our specialist team of Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you rebuild your life if you’ve been impacted by a surgical error.
We will get the help of an independent medical expert to assess how your blood transfusion has affected you and any support or care you may need in the future.
Our Medical Negligence lawyers have an excellent track record of securing hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation for people who have experienced substandard medical care.
We’ll speak to you in plain English so you’ll always know what’s going on with your claim. We can visit you at home (in England or Wales) or the hospital if needed, and can talk to you via email, phone or video call.
For added peace of mind it is good to know we’re nationally recognised as experts in medical negligence and we are members of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation scheme and the Action against Medical Accidents panel (AvMA).
How does the Blood Transfusion Claims Process Work?
Every claim is different so we’ll investigate each situation differently, but here’s an outline of what to expect once you get in touch with us.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know
Our friendly experts will talk you through any key information you need to know so you can go into your claim fully informed. This will include discussing your financial options and any government compensation schemes you might be entitled to.
We’ll look into what happened
We’ll start to collect evidence to prove that you suffered unnecessary pain and suffering through someone else’s actions or negligence surrounding your blood transfusion. This might be the negligence of the hospital or laboratory, for example.
We’ll get the right care for you
We’ll consult the help of independent experts to investigate the events that led to you becoming contaminated or harmed further through your blood transfusion.
We try to intervene early if we think you would benefit from urgent care or if you’re struggling financially. Sometimes we can ask the other party to pay part of your compensation early (interim payments) if they admit responsibility before your claim is settled.
We’ll settle your claim
Using the evidence and our expertise, we’ll work towards the best possible compensation for you and get this to you as soon as possible.
Fortunately, most of these types of claims do not go to Court, but if this happens we will support you all the way.
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Simpson millar were absolutely fantastic with my claim. Gavin did everything in his power to help me and my family get through a difficult time with the stress off the claim. Gavin was supportive thro...Michael Read
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FAQs on Blood Transfusion Compensation Claims
We know you might be worried about how much a medical negligence claim might cost you, given everything you may have already been through. However, our team will put you first by discussing all the possible financial options with you. We could even take on your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means you won’t pay any legal fees if your medical negligence claim is unsuccessful.
We pride ourselves on being open, so you’ll always be aware of what the final bill could be at the end of the process, and there’s no obligation to go forward once you get in touch for a Free Case Assessment.
There is usually a 3-year time limit to make a claim for medical negligence. This is usually 3 years from the date the blood transfusion took place, but sometimes this can vary because some injuries or infections do not come to light immediately.
The time limit can vary from case to case, so we would highly recommend that you contact our legal experts as soon as possible and we can help you get clear on the next steps. Acting early will help us gather the accurate evidence needed to prove your case and get the best outcome for you. It could also get you the financial and medical support you need sooner.
Many people have successfully secured compensation through government schemes for historic blood contamination cases in the 1970s and 80s, including spouses of those who unfortunately passed away as a result. This means that you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch if the blood transfusion negligence happened years ago, as we may still be able to help you access compensation.
There is no flat fee for compensation, as the amount you are awarded will completely depend on your situation.
Thousands of victims and partners of people who have passed away because of contaminated blood transfusions have received ‘interim payments’ of £100,000 which is likely to be just the first stage of government payouts before the official Infected Blood Inquiry concludes.
No matter what kind of medical negligence you experienced surrounding a blood transfusion, we will take into account yours and your family’s exact situation to see how you have been affected. We will then negotiate a final settlement that will cater to your specific needs.
For example, we will take into account:
- How serious your medical complications or injuries are, and how they might affect you throughout your life;
- Any income you have lost from taking time off work, either because of your own health or the care and support you’ve had to provide to a loved one following a negligent blood transfusion;
- Any further procedures or surgeries you have had to undergo;
- The pain and suffering you have experienced – both mental and physical;
- Any care, support, aids or adaptations you may need around the house;
- How your lifestyle has been affected because of your infection or injury e.g. your ability to engage in hobbies, exercise or socialise.
With our years of experience, our Medical Negligence team will take all these factors into account and give you a clearer idea of what kind of support you could access through compensation. To find out more, get in touch today for a Free Case Assessment.
Yes, if your child was impacted by contaminated blood or experienced medical negligence involving a blood transfusion, you can claim on behalf of them. You have until your child’s 18th birthday to make a claim on their behalf. After this, your child can make a claim for themselves and they have until their 21st birthday to do so.
If you’re claiming on behalf of someone else who does not have the capacity to make a decision for themselves, no time limit applies for starting a claim. For example, you may be making a claim on behalf of a family member with dementia, or your child with a disability.
Yes, it’s possible to make a claim if you have sadly had a loved one who has passed away following a contaminated or negligent blood transfusion.
If they are performed negligently, blood transfusions can be serious and life-threatening if they are contaminated with diseases or if the blood type is incompatible with the patient’s. We know losing a loved one is a heartbreaking time and can be even more devastating if you believe something could’ve been done to prevent their death so we are here to get you the support and justice you deserve. We know that taking legal action can feel daunting but there is a lot of support that you could be entitled to, so our Medical Negligence lawyers will be here every step of the way to provide advice and get you the compensation you deserve.
You usually have 3 years from the date they passed away to start a claim on behalf of their estate, and we will take things at your pace.
There are exceptions to this 3-year time limit due to certain government compensation schemes that are available for historic victims of contaminated blood transfusions, so to find out more about what you could be entitled to and how we can help, get in touch with our dedicated team today.
Don’t worry about having all the information to hand when you first contact us, as we’ll let you know exactly what evidence we need and it’s our job to source this. However, to help us work towards the best compensation for you, it can help us if you keep:
- Medical reports;
- A diary or written record of how your injury/condition progressed over time;
- Receipts to prove travel costs to appointments, or prescriptions you had to pay for;
- Proof of loss of earnings e.g. bank statements and doctor’s notes.
If you’re making a claim for medical negligence, you may be reassured to know that your compensation won’t come directly out of the NHS’s budget, and is unlikely to do the same for private healthcare companies. These companies usually have a dedicated budget to deal with all medical negligence claims directly.
Following the result of the Infected Blood Inquiry, the government are likely to announce further compensation schemes for victims and loved ones of those who were given contaminated blood, so you may be able to make a compensation claim with our Medical Negligence lawyers while accessing other types of payments as part of these schemes. This will depend on your situation, so one of our team will talk you through your options to make things as straightforward as possible.
We will only take on your claim if we know you have a good chance of securing compensation.
If the other party, e.g. the NHS, do not accept responsibility at all, we may need to go to Court to negotiate a final settlement, but fortunately in the majority of cases a settlement is agreed before the claim goes to Court.
Get in touch, today!
Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of our dedicated team members, or call our team today on: 0808 239 6043