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The subject of hospital-acquired infections has again came to light following recent issues at some Scottish hospitals  

Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are infections that can develop directly as a result of intervention in a hospital or healthcare environment. Healthcare facilities could include GP surgeries, care homes and dental surgeries.

A HAI is an infection that develops within 48 hours of a patient’s admission to a medical facility.

Common HAIs include:  

  • Bacteraemia
  • Gran-negative bacteria
  • Clostridium difficile infection
  • Escherichia coli
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Klebsiella species
  • Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA or MSSA)
  • Surgical site infection  

The NHS Scotland National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) was published by the Chief Nursing Officer in January 2012.  

The manual which is mandatory in Scotland provides guidance to people who are involved in a care provision setting.  

The manual aims to:  

  • Make it easy for care staff to apply effective infection prevention and control precautions;
  • Reduce variation and optimise infection prevention and control practices throughout Scotland;
  • Improve the application of knowledge and skills in infection prevention and control;
  • Help reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI).

The subject of HAIs featured recently in the news following a spate of patients contracting infections during their admissions in hospital. Two premature babies at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow died after contracting Staphylococcus, and third received treatment for the infection. Another patient, a ten year old boy, died at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital after developing a Cryptococcus infection which was linked to pigeon droppings. Following his death, Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, confirmed that the infection was a contributory factor to the boy’s death.

A further case related to a patient who became seriously ill after contracting a fungal infection also in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Ms Freeman has ordered an investigation be carried out to review how the building’s design handover and maintenance could have contributed to the effectiveness of infection control.

And, just last week, it was reported that several surgeries had to be cancelled after a bacterial infection was discovered at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. It is understood that a small number of patients were being treated for the infection.

If you, or anyone you know has suffered because of a hospital acquired infection, you can contact us to discuss whether you may be able to claim compensation on 0800 988 8082 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our specialist team will get back to you right away.

 

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