This Court reversed the judgment, holding: "Although orthotists are not specifically mentioned in the Alabama Medical Liability Act, § 6-5-480, et seq., Ala. Code 1975, they are health care providers who provide services as prescribed by physicians for their patients." 460 So. 2d at 161.
Likewise, in Wilson v. American Red Cross, 600 So. 2d 216 (Ala. 1992), this Court was called upon to determine whether the American Red Cross fell within the definition of a health care provider.
In that case, Gerald Wilson sued the American Red Cross, alleging negligence and wantonness, after he had contracted hepatitis B from contaminated blood that he had received while hospitalized at University Hospital ("UAB Hospital") in Birmingham.
The trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of the Red Cross, and Wilson appealed.
This Court affirmed the summary judgment, concluding that the Red Cross came within the phrase "other health care provider," as defined out in §§ 6-5-542 and 6-5-481:
"The record in the instant case reveals that when Wilson received the allegedly defective blood, the Red Cross was under a contract with the University of Alabama Hospital to supply blood to the hospital.
The record further reveals that the activities of the Red Cross are highly technical and require supervision and participation by a physician and other trained technical personnel.
Based on this evidence, we conclude that the Red Cross is employed by the hospital and that the Red Cross is directly involved in the delivery of health care services.
We agree with the South Carolina Supreme Court that the collection and processing of blood for transfusion is a medical service and that the Red Cross, as a blood collector and processor, should be treated as a professional. Doe v. American Red Cross Blood Services, 297 S.C. 430, 377 S.E.2d 323, 326 (1989).
We hold, therefore, that the Red Cross is an 'other health care provider' under § 6-5-542 and that the standard of care applicable to the Red Cross is set forth in Ala. Code 1975, § 6-5-542(2)."