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Medical malpractice and blood transfusion

# medical liability: attorney Marco Farinella reports on the recent ruling (Cass. pen., 4th division, 8 February 2022, no. 4323) concerning errors while performing blood transfusion procedures.

The 4th Division of the Supreme Court, rejecting the defensive thesis, confirmed the ruling against a doctor and a nurse. The Court endorsed the existence of the causal link between the conduct ascribed to the accused and the death following a transfusion of incompatible blood group, which turned the patient’s serious condition from single organ failure into a multi-organ failure, thus eliminating the already limited chances of survival. The ruling reiterates that the principle, according to which both the nurse and the doctor were supposed to double-check that the name of the bag and type of blood matched that of the patient, was regulated by an internal protocol, which ensures medical supervision while carrying out technical blood transfusion manoeuvres in accordance with ministerial guidelines.

Indeed, the Court observed that these guidelines are not aimed at avoiding errors in judgment, but errors in the actual execution. In this sense, the role of the doctor is called for throughout the entire protocol and not only during previous stages, thus not exempting the doctor from any medical liability.

#error #medical procedures