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Hospital Infections

If you or a family member has suffered as a result of acquiring an infection in a hospital, you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

What sort of infections can I claim for?

MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) and C difficile (clostridum fifficile or C-Diff) are often referred to as superbugs because they’re highly resistant to the antibiotics that are used to treat infections. Patients who contract these infections are at high risk of suffering long term health problems or even death.

Other infectious ‘superbugs’ include:

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • MSSA (methacillin resistant staphylococcus aureus)
  • GRE (glycopeptide resistant enterococci)
  • VRSA (vancomycin resistant staphylococcus aureus)

Outbreaks of these types of infections have been attributed to low standards of hygiene in hospitals and among hospital staff.

Many people contract infections whilst being treated in hospital, but they are often preventable if hospital staff follow the correct procedures for hygiene and cleanliness, such as:

  • Washing their hands regularly using antibacterial soap and disposable towels
  • Thoroughly cleaning medical equipment and disposing of it after use
  • Isolating infected patients from other patients to prevent the infection spreading and restricting access to the infected patient
  • Staff who have contact with infected patients should wear protective clothing and discard it before leaving the infected area
  • Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the site of any infection

Strict rules now exist in hospitals to try and minimise incidences of superbugs such as MRSA and C Diff. If these rules aren’t followed and you contract an infection due to the hospital staff’s negligence, or a problem with the hospital’s procedures, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Will my future care be affected if I claim against my hospital?

Your hospital doesn’t have the right to refuse to treat you simply because you’ve brought a claim against them, although in practice you may feel more comfortable in seeking an alternative health care provider.

At a hospital this may mean asking to be treated by a different doctor or being referred elsewhere.

What can I claim?

The value of your claim will depend on a number of factors including:

  • The nature of the injury or illness
  • Whether you recover fully from the injury or illness or if it has a long term effect on your health and wellbeing
  • The amount of any losses you incur as a result of the injury

You can claim compensation for the following things if they are a result of your injury:

  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical and nursing care costs
  • Special equipment needed to carry out daily activities and any costs involved in adapting your home
  • Other expenses incurred as a result of your injury, for example, travel expenses incurred whilst receiving medical treatment

Contact us to speak to one of our specialist lawyers in total confidence and they will discuss the details of your claim.

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