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FDA Issues Warning Letter to South Florida Blood Bank

Posted on August 15, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a stern warning letter to a South Florida blood bank over unsafe practices in its handling of blood products.

The Lauderhill-based Community Blood Centers of Florida, which supplies blood to hospitals throughout South Florida, has been accused of failing to store red blood cells at the right temperature; mixing up donor records; taking nearly three months to notify a donor of an HIV-positive finding; and fishing a bag of platelets from a waste bin to fulfill an order.

The blood company recently merged with two other blood suppliers to form a new company called OneBlood, Inc. The non-profit center currently collects about 250,000 pints of blood per month. The Community Blood Centers, which operates 15 blood donor centers, supplies blood for hospital patients and kidney dialysis patients.

Although the letter was issued in late April, the FDA says the investigation is ongoing. A spokeswoman for OneBlood did not dispute the FDA findings, but said that the company is moving forward to resolve the issues.

According to SouthFlorida.com, the FDA inspected the blood facility from Sept. 1 to Dec. 19, 2011 and examined several years of records. They found that employees who had been put in charge to catch errors “failed to conduct their duties,” and that those in charge of internal audits “failed to identify deficiencies” in a number of key areas.

Blood bank regulations are in place to ensure the safety of donors and recipients. One slip up can injure, or even kill, a blood transfusion recipient. If you believe you’ve been harmed by a medical supplier’s carelessness or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. A Jacksonville medical error lawyer at Farah & Farah can look into your case and discuss your legal options. We’re a free and easy phone call away — (800) 533-3555.