Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is generally found on the skin of healthy people and is usually harmless. Nonetheless, problems can occur when the MRSA bacteria gets into the body via open wound sites, which then causes infection. If you catch it in hospital, you are likely to want to know the answer to the following question, “Can I claim for an MRSA infection?” Call us at Accident Advice Helpline and one of our friendly advisors will talk through your situation and offer you expert advice.
Symptoms usually begin as a skin infection in situations where a wound does not heal, but develops into an abscess or boil. Infections can also spread through a surgical wound. The affected area will appear red and swollen, be filled with pus and be painful.
An MRSA infection is much more serious if it enters the bloodstream, where it causes septicaemia, a condition that can be fatal. Symptoms include high body temperature, trembling and organ failure.
Under regulations introduced in 2002 under the Control of Substances Harmful to Health (COSHH) Act, employers must control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health. They cover a variety of substances used in the workplace, including paint, fumes and dust, and also biological agents, such as bacteria.
There are three potential types of legal claims:
Negligent acquisition of MRSA, for which you need to prove that:
- The infection was transmitted in hospital
- The treatment given by your healthcare provider was negligent
- If the treatment had not been negligent, you would not have caught MRSA
- The negligence caused you loss and injury
The court will consider whether the hospital took reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of infection. Your solicitor will ask the hospital to disclose documents about its MRSA policies in order for him or her to reflect on whether there is proof that the hospital was able to minimise the risk of infection.
Negligent treatment of MRSA:
For this type of claim to succeed you must be able to prove that having contracted MRSA, the hospital’s handling of the infection was not up to standard and that the negligence caused you loss and injury.
Claims like these are based on what happens after you contracted MRSA and whether the infection was treated properly. Your solicitor will look to see if signs of infection were noticed quickly enough and whether the appropriate medication was given.
Breach of COSSH Regulations:
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSSH) Regulations 2002 make it a legal duty to minimise exposure to harmful substances to the lowest level possible. Failing to implement appropriate procedures and policies is a breach of these regulations.
Can I claim for an MRSA infection?
If you think you have contracted an MRSA in hospital and negligence was involved, you should call us at Accident Advice Helpline.
Established in 2000, we have helped thousands of victims claim the compensation they are entitled to. Our help is simple, fast and efficient and we pride ourselves in offering a professional and friendly service.
Date Published: February 6, 2014
Author: David Brown