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Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma

Posted: 9:02 PM, Nov 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-13 21:02:44-05
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma
Las Vegas woman loses consciousness twice, sues after donating blood plasma

A Las Vegas woman claims she lost consciousness twice and suffered significant injuries during and after a blood plasma donation.

Helen Summers says she went to the Octapharma Inc. located at Fremont Street and Bruce in May 2018 in order to donate her plasma.

Summers says she wanted to help save lives with the critically needed liquid but also to make some extra money.

Summers said it was her first time donating and the process laborious.

"It was a long needle, not the regular short needles," said Summers.

According to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association , plasma is the clear, straw colored liquid in the blood that is left over after the red and white blood cells are removed.

Blood plasma is used for life-saving medicines in emergency and trauma care but also helps people battling life-threatening diseases and other blood disorders.

"The girl first tried to poke me on my right arm but couldn't find a vein, so they put it in my left arm," explained Summers.

Summers claims she was nearly done with the donation when she passed out and woke up to staff checking her blood pressure.

"20 minutes later they let me go home, they didn't ask if I drove, or if I took the bus," said Summers.

"I drove home, it took me 20 minutes, I still wasn't feeling good and then I passed out again at home," explained Summers.

Summers was taken by ambulance to North Vista Hospital where doctors evaluated her.

Medical records show she was treated for possible dehydration.

A specialist noted there was a complication he found during the evaluation.

There was likely ulnar nerve damage from a hematoma, or swelling of clotted blood under the skin, connected to the blood plasma extraction, according to medical records.

"This could have been a lot worse than what it was," said Petter Isso, Helen's attorney.

"It is incredibly alarming that these plasma centers are allowed to continue to operate without having a physician on site, so we can ensure that we can avoid these kinds of problems," added Isso.

In the lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court, the documents claim negligence for allowing Summers to leave so quickly after passing out.

Doctor Daliah Wachs, a physician and nationally syndicated radio show host says there is typically a thorough medical evaluation before an extraction.

"Usually the screening process filters that out, if you're under weight, if you're dehydrated, if you're anemic, you are not going to donate," explained Dr. Wachs.

Wachs says there's usually a period of time that patients are watched after an episode of dizziness or fainting.

"Usually we give them sugar, like cookies, just in case are are low on sugar and we also give them fluids and rehydrate them and watching them from anywhere from 15 to 30 to 45 minutes depending on how dizzy or symptomatic they were," explained Wachs.

We out to Octapharma Inc. multiple times but a request for comment was not returned.

Online reports i ndicate a similar situation occurred in Louisiana in 2012 when a woman's arm became swollen and started to burn.

The woman fainted in the parking lot of an Octapharma location and hit her head and tailbone.

"Now we have prior situations, what are we waiting for to happen next?" asked Isso.

'It is very alarming," added Isso.

According to Federal regulations , a facility does not need to have a medical physician present during the extraction process, but supervising responsibility needs to be delegated to a similarly trained medical professional, such as a nurse, to oversee and respond to adverse responses connected to the blood collection procedure.

Summers and her attorney are demanding changes to regulations to require a trained doctor to be present at all times.

They are seeking more than $10,000 in damages.

Here is a list of blood plasma locations across Clark County, according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association:

Grifols Biomat USA

611 North Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
IQPP Certified
702-385-5172
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

Octapharma Plasma Inc.

1732 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
IQPP Certified
702-385-7337
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

Grifols Talecris Plasma Resources, Inc.

1912 Civic Center Drive, North Las Vegas, Nevada 89030
IQPP Certified
702 642-4037
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

Grifols Biomat USA

3250 North Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89115
IQPP Certified
702-632-0810
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

CSL Plasma

3220 South Nellis Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89121
IQPP Certified
702.273.3628
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

CSL Plasma

3430 East Tropicana Ave, Ste 68, Las Vegas, Nevada 89121
IQPP Certified
702-458-3962
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

CSL Plasma

3975 S. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89147
IQPP Certified
702.462.8777
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>

CSL Plasma

862 South Boulder Highway, Henderson, Nevada 89015
IQPP Certified
702-942-1763
Category: IQPP Certified
Visit Site >>
This article was written for KTNV.