MD Anderson patient died after contaminated blood transfusion, CMS says

A 23-year-old leukemia patient died after receiving a contaminated blood transfusion at MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to a CMS report made public June 24 and cited by the Houston Chronicle.

The report comes two weeks after news broke that CMS found serious care deficiencies at the Houston-based hospital. Regulators investigated MD Anderson after the hospital reported an adverse event involving a blood transfusion in December 2018. The specific circumstances of the event were not made public until this week.

The CMS report says a female patient with leukemia died two days after receiving a blood transfusion contaminated with bacteria. The report also noted the patient had serious complications before receiving the transfusion.

"While it is unfortunate that the CMS surveys resulted from an adverse patient event, we recognize and embrace the opportunity to further enhance and improve our patient care efforts and robust safety measures," MD Anderson said in a statement on its website. "We take this feedback seriously, and we already have implemented changes into our clinical practice."

The hospital implemented new safeguards for blood transfusions and is providing ongoing education on blood administration procedures, among other efforts. MD Anderson also sent CMS a correction plan to address deficiencies June 21.

Regulators are expected to revisit the facility in July to determine if the hospital has regained compliance to federal standards. At present, the hospital is still participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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