An Alabama man has filed a lawsuit against a Florida blood bank, charging that a transfusion during a heart bypass surgery infected him with HIV.
The lawsuit alleges that the contaminated blood given to Howard Midkiff came from the Alabama branch of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.
The blood contaminated with HIV was collected by LifeSouth from ‘John Doe’ on October 14, 2010, according to the lawsuit.
Infected: Howard Midkiff allegedly received the contaminated blood during a heart bypass at the Baptist Medical Center in Alabama
Four days later, Midkiff was admitted to the Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery where he underwent a coronary bypass grafting in which the infected blood from LifeSouth was allegedly used.
Beasley Allen, the law firm representing Midkiff, said that LifeSouth found out that the blood products tested HIV positive in May 2011 and alerted the Baptist Medical Center.
The following month, Midkiff was diagnosed as being HIV positive.
Lawsuit: Midkiff has filed a lawsuit against the Florida blood bank who provided the infected blood
Florida based LifeSouth, who operate 61 blood centers across Alabama, declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for the Baptist Health hospital system where the transfusion was given says Midkiff is the only one believed to have been given blood from the donor in question.
She says they have never experienced a case like this before and don't expect to in the future.
MidKiff's attorneys sought unspecified damages, but are asking for that the award exceed the minimum required.
An estimated 1.2 million Americans have HIV, which attacks the immune system and, unless treated with antiviral drugs, develops into AIDS, a fatal condition in which the body cannot fight off infections.
According to figures from Centers for Disease Control, an estimated five million patients receive blood annually in the U.S.
All blood is tested for evidence of HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B viruses.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2144539/Man-infected-HIV-receiving-contaminated-blood-routine-heart-surgery.html#ixzz1uxZuPt00