Recently, a Marietta woman and her family filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against the American Red Cross for medical malpractice. The lawsuit claims that one of its employees improperly drew blood from the plaintiff while she was donating, resulting in neurological damage.
The victim in this case alleges in the complaint that her injuries are the direct result of improper needle insertion when donating blood at an American Red Cross event in Marietta back in 2013. She claims that the first phlebotomist struggled to draw blood and called over another for assistance. The victim alleges that the second woman “used a forceful twisting and turning motion to jam the needle into the vein and walked away.” She then claims that she complained of severe pain, numbing of her fingers, and pressure during the blood donation, but the two phlebotomists left her unsupervised for long periods of time. The day after the donation, she called the Red Cross explaining her symptoms and an employee told her she likely suffered from a hematoma. She was advised to “alternate between ice and warm compresses and to take ibuprofen.” The victim alleges that the Red Cross willfully and knowingly failed to explain the urgency of her condition and that she should seek immediate treatment.
The complaint explains that the plaintiff suffered from “loss of function in her right arm, resulting in extreme and constant pain and lost income and enjoyment of life.” The victim was diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a rare neurological disorder mainly characterized by chronic pain. Other symptoms cited in her complaint include larger veins in her right arm than her left, “asymmetric pruning” on her hands, discoloration and intermittent hair growth on her right arm, hypersensitivity to temperature changes, temperature differences between her right and left arms, reduced nail growth and discolored nails on her right hand, difficulty lifting objects, early onset menopause, and light-headedness.
The victim’s family seeks compensation for her medical expenses, as well as loss of income. She is a dog groomer, and due to the injuries in her arm, she is unable to perform her job. The family is also seeking punitive damages, claiming willful misconduct and negligence on behalf of the Red Cross staff, which allegedly performed the blood draw improperly and provided poor medical advice. The family seeks recovery of litigation expenses and attorney’s fees, as well.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the Red Cross said, “The safety of American Red Cross blood donors and the ultimate recipients of blood is our top priority. We have received notification of the complaint and we are investigating the matter.”
Contact an Experienced Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to medical malpractice, the experienced attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, a personal injury law firm, are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.