A Celebrity Cruises passenger is suing the cruise line after the ship’s medical staff allegedly gave her a blood transfusion from a donor with HIV, leaving her with the virus herself.
In a federal lawsuit that demands unspecified damages from the company, the woman, who was not named, alleges she underwent the emergency procedure while on a seven-day cruise that set sail on December 4 of last year.
However, on day five, she says, she suddenly became ill – and was urged by medics to visit the ship’s infirmary. Doctors reportedly discerned that she had suffered a rectal hemorrhage, causing her severe bleeding.
The woman says staffers then told her condition was more serious than initially though, and that she required a emergency transfusion – or risk dying.
Coaxed into getting the procedure, she says, medical officials then reportedly solicited blood from passengers over the ship’s PA system, finding four willing donors that matched the woman’s Type A-negative blood type.
The procedure then went through, the woman says, with doctors successfully stopping the bleeding, and the woman finishing the final two days of the voyage.
Sometime later, however, the woman says she tested positive for HIV – and she’s adamant it’s because of the transfusion.
She alleges the blood given to her was not properly screened by staffers, and says she’s been left with the lifelong, incurable medical condition as a result.
HIV, which attacks the body’s immune system, is incurable, but treatable. However, if left untreated it can lead to AIDS – a more fatal condition that often leads to other ailments that could prove life threatening
In her suit, she says the Celebrity Cruises should be held accountable for the alleged error – even though staffers say the procedure saved her life.
It is not clear from the documents exactly when she received her diagnosis. It is also unknown if she has begun treatment or what her current medical condition is.
HIV, which attacks the body’s immune system, is incurable, but treatable.
However, if left untreated it can lead to AIDS – a much more fatal condition that often leads to other ailments that could prove life threatening.
Celebrity Cruises confirmed on Thursday that the procedure detailed in the woman’s lawsuit did take place, and that they are ‘looking into’ the allegations.
‘We can confirm that we successfully performed a lifesaving medical procedure for this guest,’ Susan Lomax, head of communications for the luxury liner where tickets can cost more than $5,000, said in an email.
‘We are looking into the allegations contained in the complaint and have nothing further to add at this point.’
The passenger, who is adamant the blood is to blame. is suing for unspecified damages.
The suit did not reveal the cruise where the incident occurred.