Can I make a post surgery infection compensation claim for MRSA contracted in hospital while recovering from gastroenterological surgery?
Hospitals take great care to ensure that operating theatres and wards are kept sterile and clean, but lapses in standards of cleanliness can occur which can place patients at risk of contracting infections. MRSA infections are particularly serious, as the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria which cause an MRSA infection are resistant to most antibiotic treatments, making curing the infection particularly difficult.
Although you should not have been placed at risk of contracting such an infection, a post surgery infection compensation claim can be difficult to prove. Unfortunately, contracting MRSA in hospital, even though this in itself may appear to be a clear case of hospital medical negligence, is not sufficient on its own to ensure a successful claim for surgery infection compensation can be made.
Although you may have contracted an infection in hospital that you would not have suffered from were it not for the surgery, proving that the infection was caused by a lack of cleanliness in the hospital can be problematic. If you had been screened as being free from an MRSA infection before surgery or upon admittance to hospital, this will certainly help with any post surgery infection compensation claim. However, such screening tests are not always routinely performed.
If there was an outbreak of MRSA in the hospital, and other patients also contracted the same infection, a claim for post surgery infection compensation is more likely to be successful. This will help to prove that there was a lapse in hospital cleanliness standards, and that this was the cause of your surgery infection.
A post surgery infection compensation claim has a greater chance of success if a claim is not made for the infection being contracted, but for errors in its diagnosis and for delays in treatment being administered. Determining medical negligence in this case is far easier than proving that the infection was contracted in hospital due to poor hygiene standards.
Due to the complicated nature of obtaining proof in a post surgery infection compensation claim, you should speak with a medical negligence solicitor for legal advice.