Most people will have read the huge amount of coverage in the media about ‘Superbug’ infections within our hospitals.
Types of bacteria have been dubbed as ‘superbugs’ due to the fact that they are resistant to many antibiotics we use to treat these types of infections.
The ‘superbugs’ or bacteria that cause these types of infections are MRSA and C-Difficile amongst others.
If you have contracted MRSA whilst in hospital, we understand how distressing this is for you and how upset and angry you must be feeling. We can help you to understand what has happened and give you our opinion as to whether or not you have a claim for medical negligence.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is the abbreviation of meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and is known as a superbug due to its resistance to various antibiotics, including those that are penicillin based. This makes MRSA very hard to treat successfully.
Staphylococcus aureus (also known as staph) is a common type of bacteria which is found in the nose, throat and on the skin. It causes common skin infections like boils and impetigo.
However, if staph bacteria enters into your body through an open wound such as a surgical wound or the site of a drip, then it can cause very serious problems.
Anyone can carry the bacteria on their skin already when they are admitted to hospital which is why it can be difficult to control infections.
What are the symptoms of MRSA?
You can contract an MRSA infection on your skin or soft tissue. If you get MRSA in these circumstances you will get a boil (pus filled spot) or maybe even an abscess (pus filled lump under the skin).
There is also the possibility that you may get a deep skin infection called cellulitis. Your skin will suddenly turn red, swollen and hot.
If you contract MRSA into your blood stream through a surgical wound or drip site, the symptoms will include:
• High temperature of at least 38 degrees centigrade
• Generally feeling unwell
• Aches and pains
• Pain and swelling in the affected part of the body
As you can see, the symptoms of an MRSA infection are very similar to other illnesses and may not be picked up by health professionals.
Can MRSA cause serious illnesses?
MRSA can cause extremely serious and some even life threatening conditions such as:
• Urinary tract infections
• Septic bursitis (inflammation of the sacs over joints called bursa)
• Septic arthritis (inflammation of joints)
• Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
• Endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart)
• Septicaemia (blood infection)
These types of illnesses are caused when MRSA is allowed to enter deep into the body, hence the need for good cleanliness and hygiene standards for both nursing staff and patients whilst in hospital.
What is the treatment for MRSA Infections?
Depending on the strain of MRSA you have contracted, the hospital will give you a treatment plan. They will consider where the infection is and how severe your symptoms are before making a recommendation.
The treatment will almost certainly involve antibiotics, either oral (by mouth) or by injection. These will be antibiotics which the bacteria has not developed a resistance to. You will almost certainly be on the antibiotics for a much longer period than usual.
If you are in hospital it is highly likely that you will be moved into an isolation room and barrier nursed, which means gloves and aprons will be used by nursing staff.
How can we help?
We understand how difficult it must be for you to have been admitted into hospital and then contracted MRSA whilst having treatment. Not only have you had to recover from the illness you were admitted for, but also then had to get over MRSA too.
Our medical negligence team is experienced in claims like yours and we can help. We will be able to help you understand if there was negligence and if you can make a claim for compensation.
We’ll offer you a free consultation to establish your legal position and we’ll explain this to you without using jargon and in a way in which you will find easy to understand. You will not be under any obligation to make a claim, so please do make an appointment.
If you do decide to go ahead and make a compensation claim, we’ll explain in detail the options available to you to fund your claim and make sure that you are happy for us to represent you.