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Simple Blood ?


O-no! The chance of receiving mismatched blood during a medical procedure is estimated to be 1 in 12,000, making it a more common problem than blood shortages.

In 2003 Tawnya Brown was awaiting bowel surgery in a Northern Virginia hospital when she decided to switch beds to be closer to the window. The move ultimately killed her. During surgery, Brown mistakenly received two pints of A-negative blood. She was O-positive. An investigation revealed that a technician had drawn blood from the wrong patient. Within minutes of the procedure, the 31-year-old suffered a fatal hemolytic reaction, which resulted in plunging blood pressure and kidney failure.
Blood mix-ups, though rare, are still one of the most feared mistakes in transfusion medicine. "It's the biggest threat today," says Dr. Kathleen Sazama, a transfusion expert at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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