Medical Malpractice Story: Orville and Ora Mae Swain

Orville and Ora Mae Swain, married for 54 years, both died after Orville received AIDS-contaminated blood during a heart bypass operation in Utah. Despite knowing about the infected donor and virus-carrying blood, the blood bank never told the Swains, causing Orville to unknowingly pass AIDS on to his wife. For the next two years, the couple's health deteriorated without explanation.

The Swains' family filed suit against the blood bank, claiming it failed to follow recommended standards in screening its donors and testing blood. After a six-year lawsuit, the parties settled in November 1993, one week before the case was to go to trial.


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