May 15, 1972

The Cunningham Case And Blood Usage

Author Affiliations

Lutheran General Hospital Park Ridge, Ill

JAMA. 1972;220(7):1015. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200070103028

To the Editor.—  Court decisions of medicolegal cases, in general, have resulted in a great influence on the quality of a patient's care. In the field of blood banking, an impact by a medicolegal case has been no exception to this. In the Cunningham case in October 1970, a hospital was held strictly liable to a patient who allegedly contracted hepatitis after a blood transfusion. This has had national repercussions. The impact has been especially great on our hospital, a 675-bed general hospital, located within 20 miles of the hospital in which the case took place. In view of this, a study was made to evaluate the scope and extent of the effects of the case on blood usage in our hospital.The study included assessment of 341 charts of patients who received single-unit transfusions in the past three years. In addition, data were collected from the records of the