Compensation claims resulting from injuries by “sharps” come under the heading of needle stick compensation cases. “Sharps” include hypodermic needless, knives and scalpels used mainly in medical and dental procedures. Medical staff and paramedics are most at risk, but tattooists, refuse collectors, council workers and anybody else working in disposal or handling of such items also face the hazards of exposure.
The features of needle stick compensation cases are different to those of a standard personal injury compensation claim. The strategy is to prevent the development of potential infection from dirty “sharps,” and naturally a major consequence for the victim is the trauma and mental distress resulting from such exposure.
How are claimants in needle stick compensation cases affected?
Injuries from “sharps” have two unpleasant consequences. The primary risk is from BBV (blood borne viruses), the main risks being Hepatitis B and C, and HIV. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is an obvious consequence, as the victim worries what disease they may have contracted. It’s an alarming situation to be in.
PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis, is the treatment by which the victim receives a course of antiretroviral drugs as a preventative measure. A needle stick injury does not necessarily mean that the victim contracts HIV. The award process will take into account:
- Loss of income, both present and future;
- Incidental costs and help from friends and family who provide support;
- Compensation for the anxiety suffered; and
- Other incidental expenses as appropriate.
Needle stick injury prevention training courses
Many accredited bodies such as the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and local authorities offer training courses for workers at risk. There are commercial providers who will deliver training courses at the workplace, too. These services can be found online.
Who can advise me?
Talk to us at Accident Advice Helpline. You can reach our advisors on 0800 689 5659. It’s a freephone number and we don’t charge anything for an enquiry call. Should you decide to start your claim, we can put you in touch with a legal expert in needle stick compensation cases.
Yours is an extremely distressing experience and there is nothing worse than worrying about it with no support. If you or someone you know is worried they have been exposed to harm by a needle stick injury, put your mind at rest and find out the facts about your claim today.