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Home > News > Personal Injury News

1st August 2006

MRSA and Clostridium difficile compensation difficult to obtain but not impossible

MRSA on the Increase

The number of MRSA cases is on the rise; in 2005 hospitals saw a disturbing increase in the number of people acquiring the hospital acquired infection. In total there were 7,087 reported outbreaks of MRSA throughout the year, a rather worrying development.

Between 2004 and 2005 hospitals in Britain also saw a 17 per cent increase in patients contracting one of the most common and serious forms of hospital acquired infections, Clostridium difficle. Rather shocking when one considers that a hospital is meant to cure an existing medical condition not cause a new one.

The number of patients infected aged 65 and over, shot from 44,107 in 2004 to 51,690 in 2005, an increase of 17.2 per cent.

According to the Health Protection Agency this sudden increase in the number of Clostridium difficle cases is a direct result of new and improved reporting methods.

Clostridium difficle is a spore forming bacteria and it is people over the age of 65 that are most susceptible to contracting the infection. The ability of this bacteria to form spores enables it to survive for long periods of time within the environment and be transported through the air. Symptoms vary according to the severity of the infection and at worst the consequences can be fatal.

Tackling the Problem

The problem is best tackled through rigorous cleaning with hot water and detergents; The risk is significantly minimised when the use of disposable gloves and aprons is adopted when dealing with infected patients, and alcoholic hand cleaning gels can also reduce the threat.

Medical negligence claims

Medical negligence compensation claims for cases of this nature are difficult to win however it is possible to be successful if it can be proven that infections were negligently contracted, or if there was a prolonged response in the treatment of such an infection.

Negligent contraction is difficult to prove as it needs to be established that the hospital was in violation of infection control procedures. Contravention of hospital regulations, for instance a failure to wash hands before entering and exiting an infected area, often generate a number of claims however the difficulty arises in substantiating the infringement.

In summary although outbreaks are common, the majority of cases are non preventable; MRSA and Clostridium difficle compensation claims will only be successful when there is convincing evidence of a definite breach of hospital regulations that could have, if enforced, avoided infection.

Compensation Claim

Have you or a member of your family suffered injury or illness as a result of medical negligence or contracted MRSA or another hospital acquired infection? For more information about our service or for advice about whether we can assist you with a medical negligence compensation claim contact us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms. One of our representatives will contact you (without obligation) to discuss the matter further within 24 hours (48 hours at weekends).

Please go to our Costs and Risks section for more detailed information on how Clear Answers will handle your claim and funding.

Alternative funding arrangements may apply in Northern Ireland due to differing procedures and Law Society regulations.

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