C Difficile Claim: How much compensation you can claim for an injury caused by a C difficile infection at hospital
C difficile claim: UK medical negligence solicitor sets out what a C difficile claim is; how and why a C difficile infection can be contracted at hospital; ways to reduce the risk of C difficile infection; examples of the average payout amounts for compensation settlements for various C difficile symptoms with free online specialist solicitor help facility.
What is a C Difficile claim?
If you have spent time in a NHS hospital, private hospital, nursing home, hospice or other health care environment you might have developed a Clostridium Difficile infection due to clinical negligence in which case you could be entitled to make a C Difficile claim for compensation for your pain and suffering.
A C. difficile infection can be serious. In worse case scenarios you might suffer:
1. Your colon lining might become inflamed and wear away leaving holes, which can cause life-threatening infections of your abdomen such as peritonitis (this is a medical emergency and multiple organ failure can occur if not treated promptly).
2. Severe dehydration from persistent diarrhoea can lead to acute kidney failure.
3. Your colon can swell from trapped gases causing a condition known as toxic megacolon.
How does a C difficile claim come about in a hospital environment?
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) are a type of bacteria that do not need oxygen to live and grow. As such – C difficile lives in your colon (bowel or intestine) where natural healthy bacteria keep it under control so you have no symptoms of a C difficile infection.
Some antibiotics given in hospitals, especially generalised broad spectrum antibiotics, can affect the balance of bacteria in your bowel allowing C. difficile bacteria to multiply excessively producing poisons which lead to symptoms of C difficile illness at which stage you are said to be suffering from a clostridium difficile infection, which is also known as CDI.
Some examples of antibiotics, which can cause problems leading to a C difficile claim include: cephalosporin, clindamycin, ampicillin and amoxicillin.
Symptoms of C difficile infection include: diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pain, inflammation of the colon (known as colitis) and fever.
When infected your diarrhoea contains C difficile spores, which allow the bacteria to spread to other patients or hospital workers.
C difficile spores are resistant to chemicals and can survive outside of the body for long periods of time causing contamination of places your diarrhoea may come in contact with, such as hospital toilets, tiling/flooring around toilets, bedclothes, clothing, your skin, fingers and nails. The spores can become airborne when beds are made, etc.
The reason C difficile is spread in hospitals, hospices, etc. is because there are a lot of patients receiving antibiotics with increased risk of C difficile infections; lots of places in hospitals for C difficile to survive outside the body; patients with lowered immune symptoms due to medicines and illness; old people and the very young with weaker immune systems mingling with a bacteria which can easily be passed from person to person on the hands, via contact with infected door handles, toilets, the air, etc.
How do hospitals reduce the risk of C difficile claim?
Ways in which the risk of C difficile can be reduced include:
1. Visitors and medical staff should wash their hands with soap and water when entering and leaving patient areas (alcohol does not kill C difficile as it does with MRSA).
2. Any patients suffering with a C difficile infection should be identified, treated, hospital staff should wear disposable gloves and aprons when caring for C difficle infected patients and if possible C difficile infection patients should have their own toilet facilities to avoid passing the infection onto others and avoid a C difficile claim. .
3. Areas and surfaces that could have infected C difficile spores should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly with bleaches and water.
Examples of average compensation payouts for C difficile claims
The types of injury you might suffer from a C difficile infection are varied. Some examples of compensation payouts for C difficile claims, include:
1. C Difficile claim payouts for several weeks
If you suffer abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting for a number of days to a number of weeks you could expect a C difficile claim settlement of between: £700 – £3,000
2. C difficile symptoms with complete recovery within two years
You could expect compensation amounts for a C difficile claim for symptoms lasting up to two years of: £3,000 – £7,000
3. Severe colon problems due to CDI
The amount of payouts you could receive for a settlement leading to severe damage to your colon could be between: £32,000 – £120,000
4. How much for C difficile leading to kidney failure
Problems to your kidneys caused from a C difficile bacterial infection could lead to C difficile claim settlements between: £1,000 – £165,000
Free legal help with your C difficile claim
If you have contracted C difficile in a health care environment and would like to discuss a possible C difficile claim with me in person free of charge or to have an online assessment of your how much your clinical negligence claim might be worth click C difficile claim.