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Thousands of people die from hospital-acquired infections, such as septicaemia and MRSA, every year in the UK. If allowed to develop, these infections can cause permanent injuries and can even be fatal.
If you’ve contracted an infection while in any healthcare setting, such as a hospital or a nursing home, you may be able to claim compensation. Early detection is crucial with hospital-acquired infections in order to prevent long-term damage. You may also be able to claim compensation if a medical mistake led to a delay in the diagnosis of your infection and the start of your treatment.
What are common hospital-acquired infections?
MRSA and C.difficile are two of the most common hospital-acquired infections. They affect thousands of individuals in the UK every year and can be extremely serious.
MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a common cause of wound infections and, in serious cases, can infect the internal organs causing septicemia, bone infections and pneumonia.
It is known as a ‘superbug’ because it is resistant to a number of antibiotics and it can be life-threatening. It is particularly dangerous for those who have a weakened immune system, such as: the elderly, newborn babies, those with a long-term health condition like diabetes or those with an open wound such as catheters.
MRSA is treated with antibiotics and healthcare providers can prevent its spread by following good hygiene practices such as covering open wounds, screening other patients for MRSA and regularly disinfecting surfaces.
Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile or C. diff, is bacteria that can infect the bowel, causing diahorrea and serious bowel problems. Like MRSA, it is treated with antibiotics and can be easily spread between people – making it vital that healthcare providers keep to strict hygiene standards.
What counts as medical negligence in hospital-acquired infection cases?
Healthcare providers, such as hospitals and nursing homes, have a duty of care to ensure that their premises meet are safe and hygienic, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. They also must ensure that treatment is prompt and effective, to ensure patient’s conditions do not worsen unnecessarily. If your healthcare setting failed to follow hygiene procedural guidelines, such as covering open wounds and separating other patients with infections, you may be able to claim compensation. Also, if the diagnosis of your hospital-acquired infection was delayed for any reason, such as your medical professional failed to recognise the early symptoms or your referral to the hospital after being diagnosed was delayed, this may amount to medical negligence. Our expert team of medical negligence solicitors will discuss the details of your case and determine whether more could have been done to prevent your infection.
Our solicitors are serious personal injury experts, with the experience and knowledge to secure maximum compensation in the most challenging cases. Each team member works with specialist medical experts, using an in-depth investigative approach, to understand the details of every claim and ensure the best possible result for their client. Unlike general practice law firms, serious personal injuries — such as hospital-acquired infections — are our main focus. This particular level of expertise enables us to succeed where other law firms fail, and we are frequently instructed by clients who have been inadequately advised elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the date of infection or the date when you realised your infection or illness had been caused by medical error or negligence.
If you are claiming on behalf of a child, you can claim at any time until the child turns 18. When the child turns 18, they can bring a claim in their own right but the three year time limit will then apply and they will have until they are 21 to do so.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, there is no time limit for people who don’t have the mental capacity to make legal decisions and different time limits apply for some injuries or illnesses sustained abroad.
Time can be a critical factor in compensation claims, so it’s important to get in touch with our specialist medical negligence team as soon as possible for expert advice.
The compensation you receive depends on the severity of your injuries and the impact on your life. Severe, life-changing injuries will involve more compensation to cover medical bills, rehabilitation, care and support, adaptations to the home and loss of earnings and pension.
Starting a hospital-acquired infection compensation claim is straightforward. To begin your claim, contact us on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or online for a free, no obligation chat. Click here to learn more about our team and the high level of expertise in your area of injury.
After an initial consultation phone call, your specialist solicitor will come to visit you in your home – or a location at your convenience – to discuss the details of your claim. This will include information such as how your injuries occurred and the impact that your injuries have on your day-to-day life, so they can understand your needs and advise you on the compensation you may be able to claim.
Our legal expert will also use this as an opportunity to talk you through the process of making a claim and to explain your funding options and any relevant paperwork for making your claim.
From that point on, your solicitor will pursue your claim on your behalf. The next step will be to contact the defendant’s insurers and to start gathering evidence to support your claim, liaising with medical experts and healthcare providers to access your records. Your solicitor will keep you updated as your claim progresses and at every step of the process.
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If you have a question that is not listed above, please visit our FAQs page. Alternatively, please call our specialist team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation chat.