"My mum died after routine blood transfusion"

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary / General Surgery

(as a relative),

My mum went into Glasgow Royal Infirmary for a blood transfusion as she was very anaemic due to her bleeding stoma bag. She had underlying heart problems but six months before was told nothing had become worse. She was told by her GP she would not die from what she had and a doctor at the Royal said she would be dancing out of there. She was kept in weeks after transfusion. Don't understand why they were getting her blood correct as she was on warfarin before procedure. I got a call one day saying she had a bacterial infection causing inflammation in the blood but they couldn't find the source. Over a week later they had found nothing further and she seemed to be getting a bit better on her own. They were not concerned. Then she had a fall her blood pressure was very low, I went to see her she was on oxygen and very drowsy they said no need for concern. Next day they said she was unsettled but they were not overly worried that night I went in they said her organs were failing due to this infection they couldn't find. They put her on antibiotics saying she had a fifty fifty chance. She died the next day to my shock. How could this happen? I think they left it too late for antibiotics to work. How can you die from a blood transfusion? It's killing me not knowing why this happened. Can't live with this hurt.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Kermitcutie,

First of all, I would like to offer my heartfelt sympathies to you – I can only imagine what you must be going through in dealing with the loss of your Mum, which under such unexpected circumstances must be even more upsetting for you. I know that it must have been difficult for you to share her experience here, however I can also see that it is important to you to get answers to some of the questions you have, which are clearly unresolved for you at the moment.

I have spoken with John Stuart who is the Chief Nurse in this area who would like to help with this, and to take this forward with you we would need a bit more personal information about your Mum. As a first step, I would appreciate if you could contact either John or myself at John.Stuart@ggc.scot.nhs.uk or Lorna.Gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk. John will be able to look into this in more detail for you and chat about how we can help to work towards a resolution for you.

Best Wishes,


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