Medicine: Wrong Blood

The Johns Hopkins Hospital admitted a rare mistake. The admission came too late to help the patient, but it meant a considerable difference in the time a young tough named James Vencill was going to have to spend in prison.

Last December, in an argument with other Baltimore youths over a girl, Vencill, 17, stabbed Eugene ("Cotton") Botts, 18, in the belly with a paring knife. A week later, after two blood transfusions at Johns Hopkins, Botts died. A murder indictment was handed up against Vencill, charging him with "assaulting and stabbing and causing the death of" Eugene Botts. Meanwhile the hospital...

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