If MRSA has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by MRSA, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make an MRSA compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium. The term is used to refer to a bacterial infection that mainly affects people who are already unwell or debilitated, or who have a weak or compromised immune system.
As its name suggests, bacteria causing the illness are resistant to Meticillin (Methicillin), a particular group of antibiotics commonly used to treat Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureus) infections.
S. Aureus is carried by 1 in 3 people - usually harmlessly - but may become a problem when people are having healthcare treatment and the skin is broken, for example during surgery or by using a drip to give fluids or drugs. This allows the bacteria to get into the bloodstream where they multiply.
Once in the bloodstream MRSA may lead to serious infections in the lung (pneumonia), bone (osteomyelitis), heart valve (endocarditis), or blood poisoning (septicaemia).
The symptoms of MRSA infection vary depending on which part of the is infected, but there is often redness and swelling at the site of infection.
If you decide to make a MRSA claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
How common is MRSA?
Although cases of MRSA infection have reduced in recent years, there are still hundreds of cases of MRSA bloodstream infections recorded by NHS trusts every year.
Proof that an individual was infected by MRSA is not enough make a successful claim. It must also be demonstrated that the person was exposed to infection as a result of clinical negligence on the part of the hospital; demonstrating this negligence will depend on the facts of the case.
MRSA prevention and hospital negligence
MRSA is contracted through contact with a carrier. It is most commonly passed on via the hands - and via contaminated hospital equipment.
The NHS and other healthcare providers have introduced strict guidelines to prevent MRSA infections being introduced and containing them when they are.
These include the pre-screening of patients going into hospitals for planned procedures for MRSA and treating any "carriers" before they enter hospital.
Healthcare staff are required to observe strict hygiene practices - using alcohol based gels for hand cleaning; proper disposal of paper hospital gowns; regular sanitising of medical equipment and surfaces - all help to prevent the spread of MRSA.
Anyone developing MRSA symptoms requires urgent medical intervention. As well as treatment, a patient must be immediately isolated from other patients.
Can I claim if I caught MRSA through a hospital?
MRSA is an extremely serious infection and in some incidences can prove fatal. Hospitals and their staff have a duty of care to do everything possible to protect the health of patients.
Anyone contracting MRSA in a hospital, nursing home or other healthcare environment may have done so through the healthcare provider failing to follow strict infection control procedures.
However, as MRSA is an infection it is impossible to eradicate it entirely. For a successful claim against a healthcare provider it has to be demonstrated that it was negligent in its care of the patient.
Negligence may be proved if:
- A patient subsequently contracted MRSA having been screened as MRSA negative before admission.
- There are delays in diagnosis and treatment of an MRSA infection
- There was inappropriate treatment for the infection and other conditions, including open wounds.
- It can be proved that medical hygiene procedures were not followed correctly.
If a healthcare provider is found negligent then a claimant may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the MRSA infection and for any long term physical or psychological effects.
How much compensation can I claim for a MRSA?
The amount of money you could claim for a back injury will depend on:
- the severity of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings (including future earnings loss and retraining costs), special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as antibiotics, cleaning the wound, surgical drainage and isolation.
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.