Fifty-Three-Year-Old Instructs Medical Negligence Lawyers To Investigate
A Launceston man has revealed his ‘shock’ at being diagnosed with hepatitis B following a contaminated blood transfusion.
Jesse Sims suffers from progressive kidney disease. As part of his ongoing treatment, he attended hospital for blood transfusions in August and September 2021.
Around five months later, Jesse was diagnosed with hepatitis B, a liver infection which is usually spread through bodily fluids. Jesse is still suffering with the symptoms of hepatitis B and takes medication to control his HBV levels.
The 53-year-old instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether his diagnosis was linked to his blood transfusion and whether more could have been done to prevent it.
An investigation by NHS Blood and Transplant concluded that Jesse “acquired hepatitis B infection via blood transfusion.” It has now admitted fault for Jesse developing hepatitis B. It also apologised in a letter through its lawyers and expressed “deepest sympathies…for the distress and suffering” caused to Jesse.
Expert Opinion“Understandably Jesse is upset and angry by his diagnosis. He went into hospital for his transfusions, putting his faith in the process, and he ended up with a serious infection alongside his pre-existing kidney disease.
“What happened to Jesse is deeply concerning. The issue of contaminated blood is often thought to be historic, but Jesse’s situation proves that this isn’t always the case.
“While nothing can make up for what he’s been through, Jesse acknowledges the apology from NHS Blood and Transplant. We now join him in calling for lessons to be learned to improve patient safety and prevent others from suffering like he has.”
Catherine Slattery, Group Actions Medical Negligence Lawyer
Jesse’s blood transfusions took place across seven sessions between 23 August and 5 September, 2021.
He was diagnosed with hepatitis B on 19 January, 2022, following a liver function test which revealed high levels of an enzyme known as alanine transaminase (ALT).
Jesse has two children, aged 17 and 15. He previously worked as a self-employed gardener but has not been able to work in recent years due to his kidney disease.
He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had hepatitis B. Not only am I struggling with my kidney problems, but I now have that to deal with.
“Finding out that I probably got it from infected blood was another huge shock, as it’s not something you should expect these days. I was always under the impression that donors were put under meticulous examination to prevent incidents like this.
“While nothing can change what I’ve been through, I hope that action is taken to ensure that no one else has to suffer like me. In this day and age, something like this simply shouldn’t happen.”