A HIGH COURT judge has ordered the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) to compensate a Williamsville farmer who received the wrong type of blood in a transfusion.
It was administered before she had coronary artery bypass graft surgery in 2014 at the Port of Spain General Hospital (POSGH).
In her ruling on Angela Badree’s negligence claim against the NWRHA, Justice Joan Charles said the negligence by the authority’s servants in mislabelling Badree’s blood and transfusing her with the wrong blood type was compounded by their failure to monitor her.
She said the repeated failures to properly diagnose Badree as suffering from acute haemolytic transfusion reaction and immediately stop the transfusion “caused the continuation of the incompatible transfusion leading to a worsening of the claimant’s condition.”
Charles ordered the NWRHA to pay damages of $400,770, plus interest and costs.
“On the issue of the liability of the defendant, it is settled law that a hospital is liable for the acts of negligence of its professional servants which occurred during the course of their employment.
“…I therefore hold that the defendant was negligent in its treatment of the claimant at the POSGH.”
Badree, of 7 Rajack Street, sued the NWRHA for the negligence of the medical staff who put her blood in a bottle that was wrongly labelled and which led to her receiving the wrong blood type.
Badree, who has been told that she can no longer work, three years after the botched transfusion, still experiences pain and discomfort and her mobility has been severely affected. Once active, the pensioner now walks with a walking stick or uses a wheelchair and needs help to move around.
Badree was expected to have coronary artery bypass graft surgery on February 21, 2014. She was told she needed two pints of blood before the surgery.
Over a two-day period – February 18 and 19 – Badree was given B positive blood on four occasions on the instructions of a doctor at the hospital.
Her blood type is A positive.
The procedure had to be stopped at intervals after Badree complained of a series of ailments including uncontrolled itching, pain and shortness of breath. The procedure was eventually stopped on February 19 by another doctor.
Her surgery was cancelled and after she began passing blood in her urine, Badree was advised to have a blood test done at a private nursing home.
Several days later, Badree said a doctor at the hospital told her she had been transfused with B positive blood when in fact her blood type was A positive. She later learned her blood was put in a bottle labelled with someone else’s name and she had experienced an acute reaction to the transfusion, her lawsuit said.
Badree’s lawsuit contended that despite her complaints, medical staff at the hospital gave her transfusions four times instead of re-checking and re-verifying her name, blood group and hospital information.
The nurses’ notes obtained by Badree