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.

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

7 Year fight for medical negligence compensation finally over for widower

The widower of a woman who died from a blood clot just 16 days after the birth of her daughter has won a medical negligence case and undisclosed compensation from the Leicester Hospital where she died. Darren Taylor of Braunstone, near Leicester had to fight for seven years before the hospital admitted that mistakes had been made in his wife’s treatment. She died from a pulmonary embolism that was caused by a deep vein thrombosis (also known as DVT) in one of her legs that was due to pregnancy. When Mrs Taylor was found collapsed in the bathroom of their family home in March 2010, she was rushed to Leicester Royal Infirmary, but the doctor who saw her did not follow the hospital’s guideline on investigating suspected DVT on the basis that at that time, ultra-sound scans were not carried out at weekends. It is believed that if a scan had taken place, the DVT would have been noticed and appropriate action could have been taken to avoid the development of the pulmonary embolism, and hence save her life. In addition to the pain caused by the death of his wife, the situation was made even more insufferable by the NHS Trust’s insistence of its innocence of any negligence regarding the death. Speaking after the case, Mr Taylor said: “I am relieved that this is all over. It has been a long, hard seven years, but I am happy we have got the NHS to own up and the Trust says that lessons have been learnt.” If you or someone you care for has suffered as a result of... read more

77-Year-old woman dies after choking on doughnut in hospital

A 77-year-old lady from Leicester died after choking on a doughnut that she was given while staying in hospital. The lady had been admitted to the Evington Centre’s Mental Health ward at Leicester General Hospital, run by the Leicestershire Partnership Trust, in June last year. She had undergone a behaviour assessment – which included looking into her eating habits – and was placed on a “soft food” diet to avoid any potentially dangerous incidents. However, contrary to this she was given foods such as toast and pizza by staff who were supposedly caring for her. When she began to eat a doughnut on the 25th July while left on her own, she began to choke. By the time the emergency team arrived the lady had suffered a massive heart attack from which she suffered significant brain damage, and she died less than one week later. A spokesman for the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said: “We are sorry this tragic incident occurred while the lady was in our care and accept there is more we could have done to prevent this incident from occurring”. He added: “We carried out our own investigation into the incident, which we have shared with the deceased’s family and the coroner. We developed a detailed action plan following our investigation, which includes a number of different steps to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident in the future.” If you or someone you care for has suffered while under the care of a hospital or any medical facility, you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. While we all understand that it... read more