MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and is a form of bacterial infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium, which is resistant to the Meticillin group of antibiotics. The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium typically attacks people whose immune system is already weak because of some illness.
If you have been diagnosed with MRSA after a recent visit to the hospital or clinic for treatment of an existing condition, you could be entitled to begin a claim for compensation. However, you will need more than just a diagnosis for your claim to be successful. You will have to meet certain conditions before you are awarded any monetary compensation.
The success of your claim hinges on being able to prove without any doubt that your MRSA infection resulted from clinical negligence by the hospital staff, resulting in exposure to the bacteria.
Understanding MRSA And It’s Implications
Under normal circumstances, the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is usually benign. It resides harmlessly in almost 30 – 35 percent of the population. Most people do not even know about its existence as it does not bother them in any way at all.
Staphylococcus aureus only becomes active and starts to create problems when the person carrying the bacterium has some kind of medical problem that weakens their immune system. Broken skin is another risk factor that activates the bacterium.
Once the bacteria get into your bloodstream, they multiply quickly causing serious infections to various parts of the body. The symptoms of MRSA differ depending on which part of your body has been infected. The symptoms of MRSA -related lung function are different from the symptoms of bone, blood or heart infections.
How Hospital Negligence May Lead To MRSA Claims
When you are ill or weak, you are more likely to have a compromised immune system. When you visit a hospital or clinic for treatment of your existing illness, your already weakened immune system puts you at higher risk for contracting MRSA. If you need to have surgery, the bacterium has several opportunities to enter your bloodstream during the procedure itself or while you are being administered the drip.
The hands and infected hospital equipment are the two most common ways to pass the bacterium from one person to another. Healthcare providers and NHS staff across the UK receive strict guidelines on how to contain and prevent MRSA infections that may lead to MRSA compensation claims.
All patients who are admitted into the hospital for planned procedures are pre-screened for MRSA and all carriers are treated appropriately.
All healthcare staff are mandatorily required to maintain strict hygiene at all times. This involves properly disposing paper hospital gowns, washing hands thoroughly using alcohol based gel and regularly sanitizing medical equipment and all hospital surfaces with the appropriate sanitizer.
Urgent medical attention is provided to any patient who is diagnosed with symptoms of MRSA, in addition to which they are also kept in isolation so as to prevent the infection from spreading.
Your Rights To Claim Compensation If You Have Contracted MRSA
A Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection can be extremely serious. A very severe infection can result in death.
In the UK, all healthcare premises and professionals are considered to have a duty of care towards their patients. This includes protecting their patients from the risk of contracting an MRSA infection.
If you develop MRSA symptoms after a hospital or clinic visit or stay, there is a higher likelihood that you were infected because the staff failed in their duty to protect you from the infection. This amounts to clinical negligence and means you could claim MRSA compensation.
According to personal injury law in the UK, anyone who is injured because of clinical negligence may be entitled to claim compensation for their injuries. In order to do this, the first thing you will need to do is to prove that the healthcare facility was negligent in its duty towards you.
How To Prove Negligence If You Have MRSA Symptoms
Your odds of filing a successful MRSA claim are high if you can prove the following:
- Your pre-admission screening did not show any signs of the disease but you develop the symptoms during or after your hospital stay.
- The pre-admission screening showed signs of the disease but the proper diagnosis and treatment were not done immediately.
- You did not receive appropriate treatment to prevent infection of your open wounds or any other condition that put you at risk of an MRSA infection.
- You can prove that the proper medical hygiene measures were not observed during your visit or stay.
If you can prove some or all of the above, then you might be entitled to file a claim for MRSA clinical negligence. You may be entitled to be awarded compensation for the pain and suffering caused, out of pocket expenses, loss of income and for any short or long term physical or psychological injuries.
Choosing A Personal Injury Solicitor For Your MRSA Claim
It is always advisable to hire an experienced personal injury solicitor to file an MRSA claim on your behalf. They are more conversant with the law and will put together a strong case that will help you get the maximum recompense you are entitled to.
Moreover, most personal injury solicitors operate on a No Win No Fee agreement (see more here), which means you will not have to pay your solicitor any legal fees in advance. You only pay if you win the case and in that case, the fees are deducted from the total amount awarded to you. This ensures that you get the best legal representation possible without being out of pocket at any time.
To discuss a possible MRSA compensation claim, or for more information on how we can help you to claim speak with one of our expert personal injury solicitors today.