Ethics. Research. Community.

The risk of transfusion-associated AIDS: offering patients an active role in their care.

American journal of medical quality : the official journal of the American College of Medical Quality. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
This article explores the duty of health care providers to inform patients of the risk of contracting AIDS through blood transfusions that may be necessitated by surgery or other forms of medical treatment. Although the quantitative risk of receiving HIV-contaminated blood in a transfusion is small, the qualitative risk is of a magnitude requiring complete disclosure if a patient's consent to treatment is to be considered adequately informed. Recent litigation confirms the importance of providing patients with the information needed to adequately assess the risks and benefits of proposed treatments that might involve a transfusion and reveals the need to offer the opportunity, where permissible, for autologous and directed donations. A comprehensive program embodying these concerns improves the quality of patient care and reduces exposure to liability for transfusions with contaminated blood.
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