A lawsuit filed Monday contends that Howard Midkiff contracted HIV after a blood transfusion during coronary bypass surgery at a Baptist Health Hospital in Montgomery and that LifeSouth was negligent in providing the infected blood without reasonable screening, handling and testing procedures. LifeSouth has 30 days to file an official response to the suit.
The FDA warned LifeSouth in January after inspections in October and November of 2011 showed improper practices at the LifeSouth blood processing center on WestCorp Boulevard in Huntsville. The warning noted failure to properly label tainted blood, inadequate employee training and problems with blood-testing equipment.I thought there were so many safe guards in place that this did not happen anymore .Mike Andrews, a Beasley Allen attorney representing Midkiff, said the part of the FDA warning that he finds the most disturbing deals with the improper care and maintenance of blood testing equipment, which can lead to unreliable tests.
“The manufacturer requires they be stored and maintained at a certain temperature,” Andrews said. “They weren’t even keeping up with the temperature at all. That’s a problem.”
The FDA letter also notes that a federal investigator witnessed a LifeSouth technician failing to properly label and quarantine a blood unit that tested positive for antibodies.