Needlestick InjuryHow much compensation for needlestick injury

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Needstick Injuries

Needlestick injuries are wounds typically as a result of sharp needles that accidently penetrate the skin. These types of injuries may occur when people use, dissemble or discard needles. If the needle is infected with body fluids such as blood, it’s possible that it might transfer a number of transmittable diseases, especially blood borne infections. When this occurs in a work context the term occupational exposure is used.

Needle-stick injuries are most common in healthcare workers, but can also affect tattoo artists, refuse collectors, carers, cleaners and children who may pick up the needles by accident. Lately there has been major concerns regarding the transmitting of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV as a result of Needle stick injuries.

In the United Kingdom, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) tracks the occupational exposure of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C to patients and health care workers. A report released by the HPA in 2012 stated that between 2002 and 2011, the majority of work-related Needle-stick accidents involved those people working in nursing professions. There was also a considerable rise in accidents involving those in medical and dental professions.

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Ways to avoid needlestick accidents at work

  • The Health Protection Agency advises taking the following actions to prevent Needle stick accidents:
    Avoid wearing open footwear in situations where blood could be split, or where sharp instruments are handled.
  • Cover any existing wounds, lesions on your skin and any breaks in exposed skin with water-resistant bandages and wear gloves if hands are affected extensively.
  • Where contact with blood is anticipated, wear gloves.
  • Stick to safe procedures regarding the disposal of infected waste.
  • Change gloves between patients.
  • A pre-employment occupational health assessment should identify those who have damaged skin e.g. eczema – these people could be at greater risk of infections. Make sure that advice is given regarding minimising any occupational health risk to which they may be exposed.
  • Wear gloves when cleaning equipment before sterilisation or disinfection and when clearing up spillages.
  • Clean up any spillage of blood promptly and disinfect all surfaces.
  • Avoid using sharp instruments where possible. Wherever usage is essential, exercise particular care in handling and disposal.
  • Wash hands before and after contact with each patient and prior to putting on and after removing gloves.

Do I have a needlestick claim?

All organisations have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their employees through the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. If you’ve been unfortunate and suffered a Needle stick injury from the carelessness of your employer, the contact Mercury Legal Online on 0800 122 3130. Alternatively fill in our call back form and we will call you back when its convenient for you.

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Claiming For Medical Negligence 

Clinical Negligence Claim

There are times that the medical procedures and care we receive may fall short of everything you expect to receive, and things can go drastically wrong, leaving you worse off and perhaps, severely injured. Watch our medical negligence videos for more information about making a medical claim.

GPs claim medical negligence lawsuits are bringing service to its knees

The increasing costs of medical negligence lawsuits are having direct and devastating consequences on Britain’s General Practitioner service, according to a new survey. The government says that it needs to recruit 5,000 new GPs by 2020 to cope with demand of the increasing workload, but this year has seen the number of GPs falling by 100 per month. Whereas doctors in hospitals have their insurance premiums paid by the hospital or hospital trust for which they work, in the case of GPs the responsibility lies on them to pay their own premiums and some say that they are now paying up to a fifth of their pre-tax income on insurance. According to the BMA (British Medical Association) GP’s pay has reduced by 11 per cent in real terms since 2008. At the same time the annual rise of insurance premiums has averaged 10 per cent, and it continues to rise as the costs of medical negligence cases increase. So is it right to sue the NHS? The vast majority of doctors, nurses and health professionals in the UK are highly qualified, caring people who want to help others in the best way that they can. Many work in high-pressure situations and make the difference between life and death on a daily basis. It is incredibly rare that incidents happen due to malice or general incompetence, but if mistakes are made in someone’s care, and those mistakes go on to leave the patient in a worse state than when they arrived to receive care, then someone has to be responsible. In some cases it might be an issue with machinery... read more

Maternity blunders push NHS negligence payouts to £1billion

Last year the National Health Service paid out more than £1billion in damages for medical negligence. This was a record high amount and was in part fuelled by blunders during childbirth that have soared in recent years. Patient groups said that the figures illustrate the desperate need for improved safety within hospitals. The amount paid out by the NHS for medical and clinical negligence cases has almost doubled since 2010, with a large proportion of the costs going to pay solicitors’ fees. Chief Executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents; Peter Walsh, said the NHS was spending far too much on litigation because it was failing to improve its own safety record, and spending too much fighting cases that it should not defend. “Most of these costs would be avoided if the NHS investigated incidents better, recognised when they were at fault, and settled claims earlier.” Many of the most expensive claims involved babies who were left brain-damaged at birth for whom the payouts involve the costs of care for the rest of their life. In some cases when things go wrong, a simple apology can resolve the situation. In other more serious cases, doctors and other medical professionals who fail in their duty of care can be disciplined, or even struck off from performing their duties. It is when mistakes are made and serious injuries or life-changing events occur that you might feel the need to take the compensation route, and that is when you need a team of experienced medical negligence solicitors to help you get the compensation you deserve; not only due to the intricate... read more

The Surgeon with the God complex

In a high profile news story this week, a surgeon who allegedly carried out completely unnecessary operations has been convicted of intentionally wounding patients. Ian Paterson, 59, from Altrincham in Greater Manchester has been granted bail and is due to be sentenced late this month. During the 7-week hearing some of the surgeon’s victims gave statements about how Paterson misled them into thinking that they had serious medical issues and carried out operations for conditions that in many cases the patients were not even suffering from. One female victim who underwent surgery by Paterson six times in seven years said that he “…tried every trick in the book to avoid accountability for his disgusting crimes. Mr Paterson charmed and manipulated his patients into trusting him. I for one trusted him with my life.” The victim had been told by Paterson that she had breast cancer and went through extensive surgery to remove the cancer, then a full mastectomy to remove the breast. It was later found that she had not been suffering from breast cancer at all and that he had made up the results so as to continue performing dangerous and unnecessary surgery. As well as working privately at the Little Aston and Parkway Hospitals in the West Midlands, Paterson carried out hundreds of unnecessary operations on NHS patients, costing one NHS Trust around £17.8 million in damages and legal costs. Sometimes even good doctors make mistakes, sometimes crucial pieces of machinery can fail, and sometimes a simple error of judgement on the part of someone treating you can cause significant pain and damage. Fortunately it is very... read more