In some scenarios, the emotional and mental damage associated with an injury can be far worse than the physical effects. A needlestick injury is an example of such circumstances.
The term “Needlestick injury” refers to the damage caused when someone’s skin is accidently punctured. This can be caused by carelessly discarded sharp devices, such as syringes, scalpels, or even glass from broken medical equipment.
While NHS staffs, such as doctors and nurses, are considered to be most at risk from needlestick injuries, other occupations at risk include refuse collectors, cleaners, park-keepers, police officers, prison officers and tattoo artists.
Why do accidents occur?
The majority of needlestick injuries are caused by needles and sharps, which have been carelessly discarded in the wrong way. Without exception, all hypodermic needles and sharps, in a healthcare environment, should be carefully disposed of into a sharps bin.
Errors, such as placing them in a bin bag, are likely to cause problems. The bag may be pierced, creating a risk for anyone whose work brings them into contact with the bag, increasing the chance of injury.
Bearing this in mind, it is not always healthcare environments where risks are posed. Common places for needles to be discarded include public toilets, parks, public transport and alleys. Such careless behaviour creates a dangerous environment, not just for workers, but also for the general public.
What sort of injuries can be caused?
The physical injury can often be considered minor. As the object is sharp, the skin will have beem punctured, causing bleeding, and perhaps swelling and or tenderness. The primary consideration associated with needlestick injury claims is the risk of infection.
More often than not, the original user of the needle remains anonymous. This leads to speculation as to whether or not they may suffer from HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C.
Blood tests will be taken, to indicate whether or not the needlestick injury has caused the sufferer to contract an infection. However, repeat tests, at intervals of 3, 6 and 12 months, will be necessary, as some virus’ can take time to present.
This uncertainty can have a significant emotional impact, causing the individual stress and worry. Far worse than the physical injury, the damages and compensation you receive should reflect the psychological problems you may have suffered.
If you have suffered a needlestick injury at work, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
At Asons Solicitors, we have dealt with a variety of needlestick injury claims, all of which could have been prevented had steps been taken to ensure proper disposal.
What Steps Should be Taken to Prevent Injury?
Within a healthcare facility, there are fairly simple steps that can be taken to prevent any injury.
- Sharps bins should be provided, and training to be supplied to enforce proper use.
- Sharps bins should be well maintained, with steps taken to ensure they don’t become over-filled.
- Personal protective equipment, and tools, should be provided to ensure employee safety.
Needlestick Injury Compensation Claims
If you, or someone you know, has suffered a needlestick injury, speak to us today for accurate and up-to-date advice. There are strict time limits in place when it comes to filing a needlestick injury claim like this so it is advisable to seek legal advice as quickly as possible.
Our specialist solicitors will consider several factors, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve –
- The Pain and suffering inflicted. Where needlestick injuries are concerned, psychological injury is a prime consideration. The stress and worry caused by the incident, to you and your family will be taken into account.
- Any infections you contract as a result of the accident, and subsequently, the cost of any relevant treatment or counselling.
- Lost earnings. If you are off work for recovery and treatment, that money can be recovered through compensation.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of serious injury specialists have a wealth of expertise and knowledge with these types of accident at work claims, that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.