The Blood Center of Central Iowa is being sued by a Kansas man who claims he was infected with Hepatitis-C during a blood transfusion — 21 years ago. Blood center spokeswoman Sheri Vohs says safety is the top priority at the facility and all donors are subjected to strict guidelines.21-year-old Matthew Skea now lives in Kansas. He was born premature in Des Moines and needed a transfusion to survive. He claims that life-saving action also gave him the disease. A similar lawsuit on the East Coast was thrown out since tests for Hepatitis-C didn’t appear until 1990. Vohs says all efforts are taken to ensure the blood is pure. She says the blood supply today is the safest it has ever been. She says since blood is a human material that can’t be manufactured, it can never be 100 percent risk free.Vohs says the risk of contracting Hepatitis-C from a blood transfusion is about one in 250-thousand. She says a dozen detailed tests are performed on each unit of blood donated, tests that are designed to ensure safety and that diseases are not passed along. She says the chances of getting H-I-V from a transfusion are one in a million.Vohs says this is the first such lawsuit filed against the Blood Center, which serves 26 hospitals in 22 central Iowa counties.
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