Hospital And Healthcare-Acquired Infection Compensation Claims
A hospital-acquired infection is an infection that a patient or visitor sustains whilst at the hospital. Can you sue a hospital if you get an infection? In some cases, yes. Hospitals owe their patients and visitors a duty of care, so if you contract a hospital infection because of staff negligence you may be eligible to make a compensation claim for your injuries. Trust Medical Negligence Law to handle your compensation claim today.
To begin your hospital-acquired infection compensation claim, call us on 0800 408 7827 today for your free telephone assessment. Alternatively, use our online medical negligence claims form to contact us. If we can see that you have a claim, our panel of medical negligence lawyers will start working on your claim as soon as possible.
Call us today to begin your medical negligence compensation claim, or continue reading this guide to learn more.
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- Our Guide To Hospital-Acquired Infection Claims
- What Is A Hospital-Acquired Infection?
- Hospital-Acquired Infection Compensation Claim Calculator
- Could I Make A No Win No Fee Claim For An Infection From A Hospital?
- What Causes Hospital-Acquired Infections?
- What Are The Most Common Types Of Hospital-Acquired Infections?
- How Are Infections Spread In Hospitals?
- Infection Control Measures In Hospitals
- Covid-19 Infections From Hospitals
- How Many People Each Year Develop A Healthcare-Acquired Infection?
- Could I Claim If Someone Else Caught An Infection From Hospital?
- Healthcare-Acquired Infection FAQs
- Request A Callback
- Need More Help?
In the UK, all medical practitioners such as doctors, nurses and surgeons owe their patients a duty of care. This means that they are responsible for protecting their patient’s health, safety and well-being. If a patient receives substandard medical care which breaches the duty of care that the healthcare worker owes them and results in injury or illness (or a worsening of it), this is known as medical negligence. We also refer to medical negligence as clinical negligence or medical malpractice.
If you have experienced medical negligence which caused you to pick up an infection from a hospital, the NHS trust or private healthcare company that manages the hospital may have liability. This means that they could be responsible for your injuries and you may be eligible to make a hospital infection claim against them.
To begin your compensation claim for hospital-acquired infection, call Medical Negligence Law today to speak to a claims advisor. If we can see that you could claim compensation, we will provide you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to handle your claim.
A hospital-acquired infection is an infection that a patient or visitor contracts due to their time in the hospital. We also refer to them as healthcare-acquired infections, nosocomial infections and hospital infections. Hospital-acquired infections can happen because of poor standards of hygiene and medical malpractice.
Some of the most common hospital-acquired infections include urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and surgical site infections. Healthcare workers are responsible for following professional hygiene practices and preventing nosocomial infections, as well as their other duties.
If you wish to claim compensation for hospital-acquired pneumonia or any other type of healthcare-acquired infection, you may be wondering how much money you could be owed. Some people use an online clinical negligence compensation calculator to help them estimate how much compensation their claim could be worth. However the compensation calculations these give are not guaranteed to always be accurate. The Judicial College has published guidelines for how much compensation can be awarded depending on the type and severity of the infection. The Judicial College Guidelines are a regularly updated publication that solicitors may use to help them value injuries and illnesses.
Please review the table below to estimate how infections may be valued. Please note that the table includes general damages but excludes special damages.
|Illness Caused By Non-traumatic Injury||(i) Similar to severe toxicosis which causes serious and acute pain as well as fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and requires admission to a hospital for several days to weeks. This may also cause IBS, incontinence and haemorrhoids.||£36,060 to £49,270|
|Illness Caused By Non-traumatic Injury||(ii) Similar to serious and short-lived food poisoning. Symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea which diminishes over several weeks. There may be an impact on the persons sex life and bowel function for several years.||£8,950 to £18,020|
|Illness Caused By Non-traumatic Injury||(iii) Illness which causes significant stomach discomfort and cramps in the stomach as well as effects on the function of the bowels. May also cause fatigue.||£3,710 to £8,950|
|Serious Kidney Damage||Permanent and serious damage to both of the kidneys or the loss of both of the kidneys.||£158,970 to £197,480|
|Kidney Damage||Loss of one kidney. The other kidney is not affected.||£28,880 to £42,110|
|Spleen Injury||The loss of the spleen and which causes risk of future internal infections.||£19,510 to £24,680
If your claim for hospital-acquired infection compensation is successful, you could receive general damages and special damages. What is the difference between these heads of claim? General damages compensate you for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity your injuries caused. Special damages aim to reimburse you for any financial losses or out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of your hospital infection.
Examples of special damages you may be able to claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Care expenses
- Travel expenses
- Home adaptation or mobility assistance expenses (where there is a permanent disability, for example)
- Loss of income
Be sure to keep evidence of your losses. This can include tickets for transport to and from the hospital, medical bills or care invoices. Call our team to see what else you could use as proof.
If you have contracted a healthcare-acquired infection in a hospital and have grounds to claim compensation, a lawyer from our panel can handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
What does this mean? Instead of charging you a fee upfront to handle your compensation claim, a solicitor would offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that you would only pay their fee if the outcome of your claim was successful.
In the event that your claim loses, your lawyer would not charge a success fee, so there is less financial risk involved.
If your clinical negligence claim is successful, a solicitor would deduct their success fee from your compensation payout at a minor rate. This rate is also capped by law to prevent overcharging.
Contact Medical Negligence Law today to learn more about making a No Win No Fee compensation claim.
A number of factors can cause hospital-acquired infections. You could contract an infection from the hospital by skin-to-skin contact or contact with an infected surface, for example. Some hospital infections, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia, can occur because the tube that is inserted into a patient’s throat allows harmful bacteria to enter the patient’s lungs.
Patients can also be more vulnerable to picking up an infection whilst in a hospital because their treatment or their medical condition may mean that their immune system is weakened. Similarly, the infection can enter a patient’s body via an open wound such as a sore, burn or cut, if these are not cleaned, dressed and handled properly.
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers must take special care to sanitise medical equipment and their hands. They should also wear appropriate PPE to avoid the transmission of hospital-acquired infections.
Hospitals must also ensure that adequate cleaning and standards of hygiene are in place to kill bacteria that may be living on surfaces. Unfortunately, hospitals can be busy places where staff are overworked and have to deal with serious life or death situations. This can lead to medical errors resulting in a patient acquiring an unwanted infection.
There are many different types of infections that patients can pick up from a hospital. They can be bacterial, fungal or viral.
The most common hospital-acquired infections include the following:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs): This is an infection of the kidneys, bladder, or the tubes that connect these organs.
- Respiratory infections (including pneumonia): Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that a virus or infection causes.
- Bloodstream infections (BSIs): This is where bacterial or fungal microorganisms are present in the bloodstream and cause infection.
- Surgical site infections: This is when a patient acquires an infection following an operation.
The following can also infect patients:
Coronavirus or Covid-19 caused a global pandemic. The main symptoms of Covid-19 are loss of taste and smell, a continuous cough and a raised temperature. Although most patients recover from it, some are at risk of hospitalisation or death.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
MRSA is caused by the Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. These bacteria are resistant to many forms of antibiotics and can infect a cut or open wound. This infection can transmit through contact with another person that has MRSA.
A bacterial infection can cause this. It is an infection of a patient’s deeper layers of tissue. Symptoms include inflamed red skin and a temperature.
Ebola is a rare disease that is transmitted from primates to humans and can be transmitted from human to human. It has a 50% average fatality rate and patients have to be isolated.
E. coli is a form of severe food poisoning that can also spread from person to person. Eating unpasteurised dairy products can cause it. Severe cases of E. coli can result in kidney failure.
Patients can pick up an infection from the hospital if they visit an A&E department, go to the hospital for outpatient treatment, or stay in the hospital.
Hospital-acquired infections can spread by contact transmission between medical staff and patients. They can also spread through common vehicle transmission: bacteria on surgical equipment and medical tools or uncleansed surfaces and bed linens.
Some infections are airborne and can spread without infected individuals being in close proximity. Others can spread through droplet transmission (when a person with respiratory problems coughs or sneezes nearby and respiratory droplets transfer the infection through your mouth, nose or eyes).
What steps can hospitals take in preventing nosocomial infections? First of all, hospital staff must follow proper standards of hygiene. For example, they should wash their hands frequently and wear the appropriate PPE. They should also wash or sanitise surfaces, bed linens and medical equipment as needed.
If an infection or infectious disease is identified, medical professionals should treat the patient. If necessary, they should isolate the patient or take steps to stop the infection from spreading to other patients.
Special care must be taken around patients who are more vulnerable to hospital infections such as those with weakened immune systems, the elderly or people with underlying health conditions.
You could contract Covid-19 through airborne transmission, contact transmission, droplet transmission and potentially surface transmission. Therefore, in situations where healthcare workers have close contact with patients, they should take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk.
Vulnerable patients receiving treatment in the hospital are particularly at risk. A study led by King’s College London estimated that up until April 28th 2020 one eighth of hospitalised Covid-19 patients (in 10 UK hospital sites and 1 Italian site) contracted the virus whilst staying in hospital.
Healthcare workers, by the nature of their occupation, are also at greater risk of contracting Covid-19. According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), during the period of 16th April to 7th June 2020, at least 10% of all Covid-19 infections in England were among patient-facing healthcare workers and resident-facing social care workers.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), estimations suggest that around 300,000 NHS patients in England contract healthcare-associated infections each year.
What is the most acquired healthcare infection in England? According to NICE, the most acquired hospital and healthcare infections are respiratory, including pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections at 22.8% of all infections.
Other common hospital-acquired infections and healthcare-acquired infections include urinary tract infections (17.2%) and surgical site infections (15.7%).
Can you sue for hospital-acquired pneumonia in the UK? In certain circumstances, yes. If you have contracted pneumonia or any other type of infection because of negligence on the part of the hospital, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Call Medical Negligence Law today, to begin your hospital-acquired infection compensation claim.
If a hospital infection is not properly treated, a person can pass the infection on to others when they leave the hospital. If you were infected by someone else who caught an infection from the hospital, you may be eligible to make a hospital infection claim for compensation.
Similarly, if you are the parent of a child under the age of 18 or the kin of a vulnerable adult who is not mentally fit to claim compensation, you may be eligible to claim on their behalf. The funds will go to your relative’s best interests.
Patients Who Could Be More Likely To Get A Healthcare-Acquired Infection
Patient’s who could be more vulnerable to healthcare-acquired infections include premature babies, patients receiving treatment for cancer who may have a weakened immune system, patients with underlying health conditions and the elderly.
Can You Sue A Hospital If You Get An Infection?
If you contract an infection because of negligence on the part of the hospital’s staff or management, you may be eligible to make a hospital infection claim.
What Infections Can You Get From Hospital?
Infections that patients can get from a hospital include E. coli, clostridium difficile, Ebola, MRSA, urinary tract infections and surgical site infections. This is not an exhaustive list.
Do Hospitals Have To Pay For Hospital-Acquired Infections?
If a patient makes a successful medical negligence compensation claim for a hospital-contracted infection, the claim will be handled by NHS Resolution. The majority of these claims are settled out of court.
What Is The Most Acquired Hospital Infection?
The most acquired hospital infection in England is respiratory infections. These include pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections.
If you wish to claim for hospital-acquired infection compensation, contact Medical Negligence Law today. We work with a panel of specialist clinical negligence lawyers who are able to handle your claim.
Use the details below to reach us:
- Call us on 0800 408 7827.
- Use our medical negligence claims form to write to us.
- Chat with an advisor using the live chat at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
We hope you have found this hospital infection compensation claims guide helpful. If you wish to know about making a claim for clinical negligence compensation, you may also find these guides helpful.
Doctor Negligence Compensation Claims: Find out what to do if your doctor caused or worsened your injuries or illness.
No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors: Learn more about how our panel of solicitors work.
How To Make A Medical Negligence Claim: Our guide explores how exactly you could make a claim.
NHS Resolution: Read more about the Government’s NHS Resolution.
Taking Legal Action For Clinical Negligence: Read about claiming from Citizens Advice.
NHS Advice For Claimants: The NHS provides advice if you’re considering making a medical negligence claim.
Guide by AC