Can I claim for catching MRSA?
If you've contracted MRSA you're likely to be able to make a compensation claim. MRSA is often caused by poor hygiene standards within hospitals, such as medical professionals not washing their hands before they treat you.
If the adequate steps haven't been taken by medical professionals to prevent MRSA cases, it's possible you can make a hospital negligence claim. Here at National Accident Helpline we have over 22 years' experience, and we'll help you get the maximum compensation. Our nationwide network of specialist medical negligence solicitors will guide you through the claims process and, if they're able to take your case, they'll do so on a no win no fee basis.
Symptoms of MRSA
MRSA skin infections can include impetigo, boils, cellulitis, abscesses, styes and carbuncles. If you are suffering from a wound that has become infected, you should go and see your doctor.
If the bacteria enter into the bloodstream, they can cause serious infections in almost any part of the body. Internal infections can include:
- Septic shock
- Severe joint problems
- Infection of the heart lining
- Lung infection (pneumonia)
- Scalded skin syndrome
- Bone marrow infection
- Inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- Internal abscesses anywhere in the body
- Toxic shock syndrome
What is MRSA?
MRSA is a bacterium which causes infections on the skin. It is difficult to treat because it has become resistant to many antibiotics.
For healthy people, MRSA does not usually pose any threat. However, for people with weakened immune systems, such as the sick and the elderly, MRSA has the potential to be very harmful. It usually affects people in hospital who have an open wound or are on a drip.
About a third of all people are colonised by the MRSA bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, but most do not have any symptoms since they do not develop an infection. It is when the bacteria enters the body that they become a problem, and they can lead to many different types of infection.
MRSA infections can be treated with certain medicines. However, while some people go on to make a full recovery, others are left with permanent disabilities or scarring, so it is no surprise that some cases of MRSA lead to personal injury claims. Around 1,000 people die every year from infections caused by MRSA.
If you have an MRSA infection, you may be treated with antibiotics such as vancomycin or linezolid. These antibiotics are usually given with an injection or intravenously, and most courses of antibiotics for MRSA infections will require a number of weeks in hospital.
If you are among the one-third of people naturally colonised with MRSA, but without having developed an infection, you may be treated for the bacteria immediately prior to a hospital visit involving an operation to prevent infection occurring.
Prevention of MRSA
Usually, MRSA can be guarded against by ensuring strict hygiene measures are taken in hospitals. One important measure hospitals should take is to make sure all visitors wash their hands using the special disinfectant dispensers available on most hospital wards, to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Medical staff must also wash their hands after each task they carry out.
Hospital patients who are suffering from an MRSA infection are sometimes also moved into a separate room to isolate them from other vulnerable patients and prevent the spread of MRSA.
MRSA does not usually harm healthy people, so if you have an MRSA infection in hospital then you should be able to have visitors. Those visitors just need to be extra careful about washing their hands thoroughly before and after every visit.
MRSA compensation claims
If you have been affected by MRSA then you could be entitled to claim compensation. National Accident Helpline will advise you on whether you are eligible to make an MRSA compensation claim.