Compensation for an Infection after an Operation

I contracted an infection in hospital after I had an operation last year, but was told that I may not be eligible for compensation for an infection after an operation. I did not go into hospital with an infection, so how would that be right?

Answer:

Even though you may have contracted an infection after surgery in a hospital, it does not necessarily mean you are eligible for compensation for an infection after an operation. Some infections occur naturally after surgery, and harmful bacteria which were responsible for your infection could even have been brought into your immediate environment by visitors coming to see you while you were recovering.

Only if it can be established that your infection after an operation was attributable to unhygienic working practices within the hospital, or a lapse by one of the medical team caring for you, will it be possible to claim compensation for an infection after an operation.

It also has to be considered whether the infection you contracted caused you any significant illness or the deterioration of an existing condition, for not only is it necessary to prove that negligence has occurred which resulted in you contracting an infection, it also has to be established that the infection led to a “negative event”.

Both establishing that the hospital was negligent and that “on the balance of probabilities” you sustained an injury due to that negligence is going to be difficult one year after the event, but it could be worth discussing the circumstances of your hospital stay with an experienced medical negligence solicitor.

Your solicitor will ascertain whether you have a claim for an infection after an operation which is worth your while to pursue by engaging the services of a medical expert to review your relevant medical notes with the aim of identifying the source of your infection.

If it is discovered that you contracted an infection which “at the time and in those circumstances” could have been avoided with greater care, your solicitor will compile a Letter of Claim to the hospital and providence evidence of negligence in support of your claim for an infection after an operation.

Assuming liability is admitted, how much compensation for an infection after an operation you receive will depend on the nature and severity of the infection, what consequences in made to your quality of life – both inside the hospital and after your discharge – and whether it resulted in any long term health issues.

You will also be able to recover any expenses that are attributable to the infection – for example loss of income if you were unable to work, additional prescription costs or care requirements and the cost of pursuing a claim for compensation for an infection after an operation.

As yours is a particularly complicated claim for an infection after an operation, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.