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Blood Incompatibility Lawsuits

Blood type incompatibility can occur when the blood type of a newborn differs from a mother’s blood type. In such cases, the maternal antibodies for ABO blood groups can pass through the placenta and into the fetal blood circulation and cause hemolysis—a destruction of the newborn’s red blood cells, possibly leading to severe anemia, hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN), cerebral palsy or death.

In most pregnancies, a mother’s blood does not mix with the child’s. However, it can happen and antibodies can form, destroying blood cells, causing an increase of bilirubin and a baby may develop kernicterus or cerebral palsy.

Physicians and hospital staff should monitor all newborns for jaundice due to ABO or Rh incompatibility in order to prevent kidney failure, anemia, brain damage, kernicterus, cerebral palsy or death.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati birth injury lawyer and medical malpractice attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in blood incompatibility lawsuits.

Blood Incompatibility Complications

Blood contamination generally presents symptoms soon after a transfusion, and patients may have difficulty breathing, muscle pain, fever, chest pain, and jaundice. Incompatible blood type errors can lead to ABO incompatibility reactions, and lead to the following injuries:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Increased blood clotting
  • Vital organ shutdown
  • Kidney failure
  • Stroke
  • Death

Blood Incompatibility Malpractice

  • Incorrect blood type analysis: lab tests may be incorrect or blood samples may be mislabeled
  • Incorrect blood product: Laboratory and hospital staff errors may lead to an incorrect blood product being dispensed
  • Improperly labeled blood products
  • Wrong patient transfusions
  • Expired blood products

Types of Blood Incompatibility

It is crucial in prenatal care to test for Rh incompatibility, a condition where a mother has Rh negative blood and the newborn has Rh positive blood. This is problematic because when a mother’s body does not recognize an Rh protein, it will treat it as a foreign substance, leading to severe health issues for the newborn.

hospital acquired infections blood incompatibility

A mother and newborn may also have an ABO blood type incompatibility, which can cause hemolytic disease. If a mother’s body does not recognize A or B antigens, it may trigger a dangerous immune response. Hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN) compromises a newborn’s red blood cells, and can be life-threatening for the newborn. Rh incompatibility may cause brain damage that can lead to cerebral palsy.

Blood Incompatibility Lawsuits

Blood transfusions are often necessary, but if administered improperly, they may cause severe injury and death. Blood incompatibility errors are all preventable, and injured patients may file claims against the negligent parties to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Blood-related errors in hospitals may be the result of negligent nursing staff, mislabeled blood products, incomplete patient paperwork, or misidentifying a patient. Hospitals and medical facilities that facilitate such errors can be held liable in Medical Negligence for the injuries they cause.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing blood incompatibility cases
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Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Video: Investigating Medical Malpractice

The process for investigating a medical malpractice claims involves the following steps: 

  1. Gather a full and informed history from the family addressing their concerns and thoughts on what went wrong; 
  2. Gather the complete medical records including film studies, if any; 
  3. Review of the records and applicable medical literature by attorneys; 
  4. Review of the records by a qualified physician practicing in the relevant areas on standard of care and causation; 
  5. Final consultation with expert to review opinions;
  6. Signing of Affidavit of Merit by the Expert before case filing, for cases where medical malpractice is identified. 
Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.


$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.