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Hospital Acquired Infections

If you’ve contracted infections like MRSA or C. difficile in a healthcare setting, you may be eligible to claim compensation. While infections in hospitals and nursing homes are common, many are preventable. If you have experienced significant on-going issues following an infection from your time in hospital, our experienced medical negligence solicitors may be able to help you win your claim.

Anti-bacterial handwash representing hospital infections

Helpful Information

A Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) is an infection that a patient acquires in a hospital or other healthcare facility, which was not present or incubating at the time of their admission. These infections can occur following surgeries, the use of medical devices like catheters or ventilators, or from being in a hospital environment with a high presence of infectious agents. Common types of HAIs include MRSA, C. difficile, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and surgical site infections.

Bringing a Hospital Acquired Infection claim

Grounds for bringing a claim following a Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) usually depend on demonstrating specific elements that indicate negligence or a breach of duty by the healthcare provider. Scenarios where you may have the grounds to bring a claim include the following:

  • Breach of standard care – If the healthcare provider failed to adhere to the established standard of care, which is the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional would have provided under the circumstances.
  • Inadequate infection control practices – If the infection was caused due to poor infection control practices, like improper sterilisation of equipment, inadequate hand hygiene, or failure to use protective barriers such as gloves, masks, or gowns.
  • Improper use or maintenance of medical equipment – If the infection was linked to improperly used or maintained medical equipment, such as catheters, ventilators, or surgical instruments.
  • Lack of prompt response to infection symptoms – If healthcare providers failed to recognise and appropriately respond to signs of an infection, leading to a worsening of the patient’s condition.
  • Post-surgical infections due to negligence – If the surgical environment was not properly sterilised, or if post-operative care was inadequate leading to an infection at the surgical site.
  • Cross-contamination between patients – If there was a failure to isolate infectious patients or to follow procedures that prevent the spread of infection from one patient to another.
  • Improper administration of antibiotics – If there was an inappropriate use of antibiotics leading to antibiotic-resistant infections.

To successfully bring a claim, the claimant typically needs to prove that there was a duty of care owed by the healthcare provider, there was a breach of this duty of care, and the breach directly caused the infection. It also needs to be shown that the infection led to specific damages or harm.

Speak to our legal team now about your case. Call us Freephone on:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions our team are often asked.

  • What sort of ongoing health issues can occur following a Hospital Acquired Infection?

    Hospital Acquired Infections can lead to a range of ongoing health issues, such as chronic pain, organ dysfunction, and increased susceptibility to future infections. Some patients may suffer from long-term disabilities, significantly impacting their quality of life. Infections like MRSA and C. diff are particularly concerning, as they are often resistant to standard antibiotics, making them more difficult to treat. Additionally, the psychological impact of a serious infection, including anxiety and stress, can further complicate recovery and overall well-being.

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  • Is it always possible to bring a claim following an infection acquired in a hospital?

    The viability of your claim depends on demonstrating that the healthcare provider was negligent and that this negligence directly caused the infection. Proving this can be complex, as infections can occur despite high standards of care. If you believe negligence led to your infection and caused you harm, you will need to discuss the details of your case with an experienced medical negligence solicitor. They will be able to advise if you have a strong enough basis to initiate legal proceedings.

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  • What compensation am I entitled to if I win my case?

    You may be entitled to various forms of compensation. This typically includes coverage for medical expenses incurred due to the infection, compensation for lost wages if the infection impacted your ability to work, and possibly payments for pain and suffering. In some cases, you might also receive compensation for future medical care related to the infection, and in rare instances, punitive damages if gross negligence is proven. The exact compensation varies based on the severity of the infection and its impact on your life.

Start your hospital infection claim

If you acquired an infection whilst in hospital, and this caused you significant on-going health issues, you may have the basis to bring a medical negligence claim. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on info@mccarthy.ie and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Medical Negligence Team at McCarthy + Co

About McCarthy + Co

With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with medical negligence claims, McCarthy + Co. has experience bringing claims relating to a wide variety of healthcare settings, including hospital claims. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.

Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork, but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal injury.

Useful Resources

Some links relating to A&E that you may find useful:

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Our Partners

Directly contact our partners via email about your case.

Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

Email: flor@mccarthy.ie
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Twitter: @flormccarthy LinkedIn: /in/flormccarthy/

wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

Email: john@mccarthy.ie
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LinkedIn: /in/johnmccarthysolicitor/

is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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