Hospital Acquired Infections Negligence Claims Guide- How Much Could I Claim Patients / NHS Employees – Compensation Amounts Payouts

Have you caught a hospital-acquired infection whilst visiting a hospital for treatment, staying in hospital as a patient or working in a hospital? If you believe you contracted the infection because the hospital did not take the proper steps to protect you, you may be able to claim hospital infection compensation for your resulting illness. This could also include a claim for contracting Covid-19 (also known as coronavirus).

If you have been infected with a bacterial infection, or viral infection because of negligence on the part of a hospital, you may be wondering:

  • Can you sue if you get an infection after surgery?”
  • “Can I sue the hospital for an MRSA infection?”
  • “Can I claim for contracting Covid-19 from a hospital?”
  • “Can I claim for hospital-acquired pneumonia?”

The answer to all of the above is yes. If it can be proven that the hospital owed you a duty of care and you were made ill because of malpractice on the part of the hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

If you believe you are owed compensation for a hospital-acquired infection, Legal Helpline can help you. Call us today on 0161 696 9685 for your free hospital negligence claims consultation. We will speak to you in-depth about your ordeal and if we believe you are owed compensation, we can provide you with an experienced personal injury solicitor to handle your compensation claim. Call now to see if you are entitled to claim or use our online claims form to get in contact with us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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A Guide On Claiming For A Hospital-Acquired Infection

Hospital acquired infection compensation claims

Hospital-acquired infection compensation claims

Whether staying in a hospital as a patient or working as a hospital employee, high standards of hygiene and safety are expected to protect us from contracting an infection whilst in a hospital building. Unfortunately, patients and hospital workers, such as nurses, doctors and porters, can contract infections in hospitals. These could include:

  • MRSA
  • Sepsis
  • Pneumonia
  • Covid-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Bedsores
  • Ebola
  • Cellulitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Surgical site infection

Legal Helpline has created this guide for anyone looking to make a clinical negligence claim for a hospital-acquired infection. We will look at what a hospital-acquired infection is in more detail and explain how they can be transmitted to patients and staff. We will also explain how you can make a claim for hospital compensation and how we can help you find the right medical negligence lawyer to handle your case. To begin your claim, call Legal Helpline today.

What Is A Hospital Acquired Infection?

A hospital-acquired infection is a viral infection or a bacterial infection that a patient or hospital employee contracts in a hospital. To count as a hospital-acquired infection, the person will not have already been infected when they arrive at the hospital. Instead, the infection is generally contracted 48 hours after admittance. It’s also possible for a hospital worker to contract an infection during their shift. A hospital-acquired infection is also referred to by its medical name, a nosocomial infection.

Some hospital-acquired infections can be particularly difficult to treat, such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) which is a hospital superbug that is resistant to antibiotics.

Causes Of Hospital Acquired Infections

Bacteria are everywhere and many bacterias that cause hospital superbugs can be found on the skin of healthy people. In most circumstances bacterias are non-threatening. Bacterial infections may often be spread by skin-to-skin contact. There are many reasons why infections are more likely to spread in a hospital environment:

  • A patient’s skin may be pierced by a needle or catheter, or they may suffer from an open wound or sores. These can be an entry point for the bacteria.
  • Hospitals are busy places with numerous patients, staff and visitors, making them a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Hospitals look after patients who are already ill and might be suffering from a weakened immune system.

Statistics Showing The Rates Of Infections in Hospitals

How common are hospital-acquired infections? NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) reports that 300,000 people a year experience an infection acquired in an NHS healthcare institution, such as a hospital. 

What is the number one hospital-acquired infection? In 2011 the most common type of nosocomial infection was respiratory infections, including pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections, which made up 22.8% of all cases. This was followed by urinary tract infections at 17.2% of all cases, and surgical site infections, which made up 15.7% of all cases.

In 2007, MRSA bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile were the underlying cause of 9,000 primary care and hospital deaths in England. Fortunately, these statistics have dramatically reduced due to better practices being implemented. From 2006 to 2014 the rates of MRSA bloodstream infections decreased from 1.3% to 0.3% and the rates of Clostridium difficile decreased from 2% to 0.4%.

Hospitals Duty Of Care To Patients And Staff

Hospitals have a duty of care towards their staff and patients. This means that the hospital administration must ensure that the hospital environment is a safe and hygienic environment for patients, staff and other people that use the site. 

Medical staff such as doctors, nurses and anaesthetists also owe patients a duty of care. If a hospital employee or patient is made ill because of negligent actions or inactions on the part of the hospital administration, or a hospital worker, this would be classed as medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence, or medical malpractice). As a result, the NHS Trust or private healthcare provider which runs the hospital could be held liable for the person’s illness. As a result, they would have the right to make a medical negligence claim for compensation.

Staff at NHS hospitals now have a “duty of candour”. This means that they are bound to report any incidents they see which breach health and hygiene. This is because even small breaches, such as nurses not using hand sanitiser gel, can result in a nosocomial infection being spread.

Types Of Infections Contracted In Hospital?

We will now look at what types of infections can be contracted in hospitals. If you have contracted any of the infections we have listed below, or another type of infection, due to hospital negligence, contact Legal Helpline to see if you can make a claim for hospital infection compensation.

Claims For MRSA Caught In A Hospital

MRSA stands for Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a type of Staphylococcus aureus infection which is resistant to drugs, such as antibiotics. Given its drug-resistant nature, it is often referred to as a superbug. It enters the body through a break in the skin. MRSA usually affects people who are already ill, whose immune systems will already be weaker. 

Staphylococcus aureus can enter the bloodstream and travel around the body, causing serious infections in different parts. Staphylococcus aureus can result in septicaemia, an infection of the blood, pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, endocarditis, an infection of the heart valve or osteomyelitis, a bone infection.

Can you claim for contracting MRSA in a hospital? If the hospital acted negligently, leading to you contracting MRSA, you may be able to claim compensation. We will now look at some circumstances in which you may be able to claim below.

Claims By Hospital Staff Who Contracted MRSA

Can you sue for catching MRSA? Yes. If you are a hospital employee who contracted MRSA due to unsafe working conditions or negligence on the part of your employer you may be entitled to compensation. This may have happened because your colleagues neglected to wash their hands and practice proper standards of hygiene. Or you were suffering from a medical condition which meant that you were in a more high-risk group to catch MRSA and were not adequately protected by your employer.

Claims For MRSA Related To C Section Operations

If you have contracted MRSA following a C-section operation, you may be able to claim compensation for your illness. As well as putting the mother at risk of a serious infection which is hard to fight, contracting MRSA during a C-Section can lead to the mother suffering from postnatal depression.

How much compensation can you claim for MRSA? This depends on how severely affected you were by the MRSA. We recommend you call Legal Helpline to speak to an advisor about your options and they will be able to help you estimate how much your MRSA claim could be worth.

E. Coli And C. Diff Infections Contracted In Hospitals

  1. Coli is a type of bacteria that is found in the gut of humans and animals. E.coli is mostly harmless but some strains can cause the host to be poisoned.

What are the symptoms of E.coli?

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

In extreme cases, E.coli infections can cause the patient to suffer from haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), which can result in kidney failure.

E.coli can be contracted in a hospital if a patient is given undercooked food or unpasteurised milk. It can also be transmitted via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, so could be transmitted if a medical practitioner treating a patient hasn’t taken the correct steps to wash their hands.

C. difficile also known as C. diff, is another infection which can be dangerous to people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of C. diff include stomach cramps, abdominal pains and diarrhoea. If someone suffering from C.diff, or caring for someone with the condition, doesn’t wash their hands after using the toilet, then they can pass the illness onto others. C. diff can live on surfaces for weeks which is why it is important to implement proper standards of sanitation, to prevent it being transmitted in hospitals. As well as proper standards of cleaning, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals need to be issued with PPE, such as disposable gloves, and gowns. They also need to wash their hands properly or sterilise them, to protect patients.

If you have contracted E.coli or C.diff, due to hospital negligence, you could be eligible to claim compensation. Call Legal Helpline today, to enquire about making a nosocomial infection claim.

Urinary Tract Infections Contracted In Hospitals

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the kidneys, bladder (cystitis) or urethra (urethritis). They are known for being painful, but can thankfully be treated with antibiotics. Urinary tract infections can occur if particles of faeces get into the urinary tracts. They can also happen if a catheter is inserted incorrectly in a hospital or another medical setting. To claim compensation for a urinary tract infection that you contracted due to clinical negligence in a hospital, call Legal Helpline today for your free consultation.

Covid-19 And Other Viral Infections Caught In Hospitals

At the time of writing, the United Kingdom and many other countries in the world, is experiencing a pandemic of Covid-19 (AKA coronavirus). This is a highly infectious virus which attacks the lungs. It spreads via saliva, discharge from the nose or droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The illness puts high rates of people into Intensive Care. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, patients with the illness are supposed to be isolated on separate wards.

There have been incidents of doctors, nurses and other medical staff working on Covid-19 wards and becoming infected due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)There was also an incident in Wales where an 80-year-old grandmother who went into the hospital for an operation, died after contracting Covid-19 on a non-Covid-19 ward.

Source: www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/woman-first-uk-victim-die-coronavirus-caught-hospital-marita-edwards

Can you claim for contracting coronavirus, (AKA Covid-19)? If you were not adequately protected whilst in a hospital or working for the NHS (for example you were not given the correct PPE), you may be entitled to claim compensation. You may be able to claim for another viral infection, compensation for hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Hospital-Acquired Infection Compensation Claims Calculator

Have you been struck down with a hospital-acquired infection, because of hospital negligence? If so, you may be owed compensation. You may have come across a personal injury claims calculator before. We find such tools cumbersome to use, so instead, we’ve put together a table with relevant injuries and illnesses. 

Illness / InjurySeverityInformation on the illness / injurySettlement
Kidney DamageADamage to the kidneys which is this significant could lead either permanent injury or even loss of both kidneys.£158,970 to £197,480
Kidney DamageBLess serious than the above category, however there is the possibility of serious problems with the kidney(s) in the future.up to £60,050
Kidney DamageCOne kidney has been lost, though the other is functioning.£28,880 to £42,110
Non-Traumatic Injury(i)This could include a severe illness which could lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever and pain. Symptoms will be serious and acute. .£36,060 to £49,270
Non-Traumatic Injury(ii)This level of illness or injury is serious and acute, but shorter lasting. The symptoms could be similar to those listed above.£8,950 to £18,020
Non-Traumatic Injury(iii)This bracket could include illnesses which are similar to or which include food poisoning. The illness could last for a few weeks and the patient could recover in less than two years.£3,710 to £8,950
Bowel InjuryAAt this level, the claimant may have double incontinence involving loss of bowel and urinary control.Up to £172,860
Bowel InjuryBThe claimant has lost bowel control and requires the use of a colostomy.Up to £140,870
Bowel InjuryCSymptoms could include faecal urgency and passive incontinence even after surgery or treatment. This could lead to embarrassment and distress. .In the region of
£75,000
Bowel InjuryDSuch bowel injuries could impair function and will require a colostomy on a temporary basis.£41,850 to £65,440

For an accurate estimation that reflects your circumstances, contact Legal Helpline today.

What Can I Claim? – Special Damages Applicable To Illness Claims

If you make a successful hospital infection compensation claim, your settlement package may consist of two heads of claim:

  • General Damages: Awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have experienced as a result of contracting a hospital-acquired infection. The value of general damages has been covered in the compensation calculator section above.
  • Special Damages: Designed to reimburse you for any financial losses you have experienced as a result of becoming ill. They can include medical expenses, travel expenses, care expenses, mobility equipment or home adaptation expenses and reimbursement for any income you have lost as a result of your illness.

If you make any purchases relating to your illness, keep your receipts. These may be used as evidence, as you may also be able to claim back these costs as special damages.

Steps To Take If You Contracted An Infection In A Hospital Due To Negligence

Can you claim for contracting coronavirus or can you claim for contracting an MRSA? If you have evidence that you contracted a hospital-acquired infection because of hospital negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. You can do the following to gather evidence to support your claim.

  • Take photographs of or film health and safety hazards that may have caused your infection. For example, medical staff not being provided with the correct PPE or engaging in the correct handwashing procedures.
  • Take photographs of any physical signs of your infection.
  • Document your pain and suffering by writing a journal, for instance, if you’re able. This can be used as evidence in a subsequent claim.
  • Speak to eyewitnesses who may be able to make a statement on your behalf and make a note of their names and contact details.

Why Make Your Claim Against A Hospital With Our Team?

Why should you trust Legal Helpline to handle your case?

  • Our panel of solicitors can handle your case on a No Win, No Fee basis, something we’ll explain below
  • Our panel of solicitors have decades of experience handling hospital negligence cases. They know the ins and outs of the process and can expertly guide you through it, explaining complex points and legal jargon in ways you understand.
  • Our panel of solicitors will fight to win you the maximum amount of compensation you could be owed.
  • Your solicitor will stay in communication with you throughout your medical negligence claim process and update you with any important developments.

To begin your claim, call us today to speak to one of our personal injury claims advisors.

No Win, No Fee Claims For Hospital Acquired Infections

At Legal Helpline, we wish to support you in your stressful time and help you restore normality whilst achieving justice. This is why all of the solicitors on our panel will give you the option of entering into a No Win, No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).  Under a CFA, you will not have to pay any fees upfront or during the claim and if your claim does not succeed, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. 

If your case does succeed, your solicitor may ask for a small contribution toward their costs. This would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. It’s known as a success fee, but don’t worry, they’re legally capped and the percentage will be agreed with you when signing the CFA. 

To learn more about the benefits of making a no win no fee claim for a hospital-acquired infection, call Legal Helpline and one of our advisors will be happy to speak to you in-depth.

Contact Legal Helpline About Your Claim

Have you experienced MRSA, sepsis, pneumonia, Covid-19, bedsores, ebola, cellulitis, a urinary tract infection, a surgical site infection or any other type of bacterial infection or viral infection, due to hospital negligence? Then you could be entitled to claim compensation. Contact Legal Helpline today to begin your claim. Call us on 0161 696 9685 or use our online claims form to reach us, and if you have legitimate grounds to claim, we will provide you with an excellent personal injury solicitor to handle your claim.

Hospital And Medical Negligence Resources

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Hospital Resulting In Death – How to claim compensation for deaths caused by hospital care.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Pressure Sores – How to make a claim for a pressure sore.

Emergency Services Vehicle Accidents Claims – Claims for accidents involving emergency services vehicles.

External Resources

A NICE Guide To Preventing And Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infections – Clinical care guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

An NHS Guide To Covid-19 – A guide from the NHS about Covid-19 / Coronavirus.

A UK Government Guide To Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Information from the government about Covid-19.

 

Guide by HE

Edited by REG