BECKLEY – A Wyoming County man claims he was given a transfusion with HIV-positive blood from the Red Cross.
Ira Dale Acord filed a lawsuit March 27 against the American Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Division in Raleigh Circuit Court.
Acord, who lives in Glen Fork, said he received a blood transfusion on Oct. 17, 2013, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Beckley. On Dec. 16 of that year, he was told by VA officials that the donor of the blood was HIV positive.
AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a chronic immune system disease caused by HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus. HIV damages the immune system, interfering with the body's ability to fight disease-causing organisms.
HIV can be transmitted through contact with infected blood and other bodily fluids. It most commonly is contracted through sexual contact. No cure for AIDS exists, but medications can dramatically slow the disease's progress.
Acord says that because of the Red Cross's negligence, he now must undergo medical monitoring to determine whether he has contracted HIV. He says he has incurred medical expenses and severe past and future emotional distress.
He accuses the Red Cross of negligence and of deviating from the accepted standard of care. He seeks past and future economic and non-economic damages as well as taxable court costs and interest.
Acord is being represented by Ben Salango, Patrick J. Salango and Kristina M. Salango of Preston & Salango in Charleston as well as Donald "J.R." Carter of Bucci Bailey & Javins in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge John A. Hutchison.
Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 15-C-237