A Palo Alto man, Christopher Bui, is suing Stanford Hospital and Clinics, after developing a severe infection when he donated blood.
Bui has donated blood to Stanford Hospital and Clinic's Blood Center for 10 years. He gave his O-positive type blood, among the most critically needed, because he wanted to help people, his attorney said.
But when he developed an infection in April 2008, allegedly as a result of a needle stick, Stanford did not help him, despite expensive surgery that included removing his collar bone and a long recovery, according to his attorney, Joseph Carcione Jr.
"He still has problems related to the injury that manifest in various ways in daily life. Stanford helped him a little bit, but when it got expensive they stopped," Carcione said.
Bui, 43, filed a lawsuit on June 29, 2009, against Stanford Blood Center, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford University and its various entities: Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, School of Medicine and Medical Center.
As a blood donor, Bui could have benefited any or all of those organizations. The suit alleges medical malpractice and breach of contract because the blood center assured Bui they would take care of him if something went wrong, according to Carcione.
"I don't understand. You ask someone to give something of themselves to help you and then you turn your back on him and they say goodbye. If people are giving blood they should be a little more cautious," Carcione said.
Carcione said the sum his client will ask for has not been determined and could be affected by how much Stanford earns from selling donated blood.
Stanford Hospital and Clinics released a statement Tuesday afternoon.
"Due to the privacy interests of its patients, Stanford University Medical Center cannot comment on the allegations raised by the blood donor's attorney. The Stanford Blood Center has long standing and safe procedures in place for the donation of blood by its many volunteers.
"The incidence of any complication from a blood donation is rare and usually limited to temporary bruising. Blood draws are done by way of a single-use needle that is prepackaged in a sterile container.
"The needle container is obtained from a manufacturer not owned or affiliated with Stanford and once the needle has been used for the single donation, it is then discarded. Donors may get infections from sources unrelated to the blood donation," wrote Gary Migdol, director of communications.
The Stanford Blood Center is a division of Stanford University. The nonprofit entity provides blood products and services to Stanford University Medical Center and other medical institutions in Northern California.
The case is being litigated in Santa Clara County Superior Court.