Infectious Disease Claims

Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites. Many organisms live in or on our body. These organisms are normally harmless, and sometimes, helpful to us. Under certain circumstances, they can, however, cause infectious disease.

Contact

  • “Really great clinical negligence practice, staffed by experienced practitioners who know how NHS Trusts work. They also build great rapport with clients.”

  • “She works tirelessly for her clients and is incredibly focused on their needs. Attention to detail is key and she is meticulous.”

Strep A

The group of bacteria known as Strep A include a wide range of bacteria, which look like short strings of beads when looked at under the microscope. These bacteria are responsible for a wide range of infections which range in severity from mild to severe and life threatening. Most commonly Strep A causes infections of the skin and throat, such as impetigo or ‘strep throat’. Scarlet fever and rheumatic fever are also caused by these bugs, but thankfully these infections are not the threat to life that they used to be in the past.

Strep A bacteria become dangerous when they invade the body and infect the blood, lungs and other organs.  In the worst cases, Strep A infections cause death by shock and organ failure. The headline maker ‘necrotizing fasciitis’ also known as the ‘flesh eating disease’ which is also caused by Strep A, is thankfully not as common as the media coverage would lead you to expect. However, when outbreaks of Strep A infection happen, they can have devastating consequences.

NHS Mid Essex deaths

In September this year, it was confirmed by NHS Mid Essex that 14 people have now died from Strep A infection. In total 37 people in the area have been infected, with symptoms ranging from a simple sore throat, to a high fever and vomiting. All affected are elderly and most were receiving treatment for wounds, either in care homes or in their own homes. It is thought that the infection may have been spread by unknowingly contaminated health care workers who were treating the wounds. Enhanced infection control measures are now in place and a deep clean of nursing bases has been ordered by Public Health England. Hopefully, the infection is now contained, and no other victims are claimed. We will no doubt hear more, when an Inquiry takes place.

Strep B

Strep B bacteria colonise the gut and genitourinary tracts of around one third of healthy adults and cause no harm. In fact, most people won’t realise they have it. The danger arises when the bacteria enter the body, especially in vulnerable people such as children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. In these cases, there is a risk of very serious illness and death due to sepsis, lung infection and meningitis.

Strep B and babies

In recent years, the spotlight has been turned on new-borns who have contracted the infection during delivery. Around 25% of women have Strep B in their urinary or vaginal tract without having any symptoms. However, the infection may cause problems with the pregnancy, including stillbirth, miscarriage and early delivery. In addition, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, these women have a 50% chance of passing the bacteria to their baby. Strep B is especially dangerous in babies and infants who can develop meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis. These conditions can lead to brain damage and in the worst cases, death.

Currently in the UK, between 400 and 500 babies are born infected with Strep B. Each week one baby dies from Strep B infection and another is left with a severe, life-altering disability. Since 2000, there has been a 31% increase in the rate of Strep B infections in babies under 3 months, despite prevention guidelines being introduced in 2003.

Testing mothers for Strep B

Sadly, a simple test can determine whether a pregnant woman is a carrier of Strep B and then steps can be taken to administer antibiotics throughout labour to prevent transmission to the baby.

However, these tests are not routinely performed and currently experts say that there is not enough proof that a national screening programme would benefit mothers and babies.

Although, the test is routinely performed in the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain and France and as a consequence, the rate of Strep B infections in babies has dropped. Currently the infection rate of early Strep B in the UK and Ireland is 2.5 times the US rate and 1.5 times the rate worldwide.

A new study by the Nottingham University is to examine whether Strep B testing is effective and should be a routine part of a mother’s care plan. In the meantime, we will continue to hear of cases such as that of baby Moore who developed sepsis and meningitis just 24 hours after her delivery. The child suffered permanent and severe brain damage as a result. Another family endured the loss of a baby days after he was born, due to sepsis caused by Strep B infection. The infection resulted in the child suffering severe brain damage and he was removed from life support 4 days after his birth.

Raising awareness

Then there is the highly publicised case of Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas’s new-born son, which has helped to raise awareness of the condition. Shortly after his birth Thomas’s son was admitted to intensive care because of breathing problems. The cause was Strep B. That night, Thomas read up on Strep B cases and was terrified to find out that ‘one in 10 babies die after treatment’.

Thomas also described ongoing concern that his infant son could develop further health complications as a result of the infection. Conditions that can arise from a Strep B infection include cerebral palsy and other forms of brain damage. These conditions reflect damage that arose from the infection, but only come to light as the child gets older. Thomas said that neither he nor his partner were aware that Strep B was a potential problem and if they had known about it, they would have arranged to have a private test, which costs as little as £35 and if offered routinely by the NHS would cost just £11, according to the Group B Strep Support charity.

Sepsis Claims

One of the potential symptoms of any infection, including Strep A and Strep B, is sepsis. Sepsis is a highly dangerous life-threatening condition, which arises as the body responds to infection. What happens is this: the immune system identifies an invading bacteria or virus and mounts an inflammatory immune response which inadvertently causes damage to the body’s own organs and tissues. Symptoms of sepsis can include a high fever, increased breathing and heart rate and confusion. Sepsis can reduce blood flow to organs, causing tissue damage.

The risk from death from sepsis depends on the severity and if it responds to treatment: for severe sepsis the death rate can be as high as 50%, and for septic shock as high as 80%. However, if the symptoms are recognised early and treated correctly, most people will make a full recovery. Even so, in the UK 5 people every hour dies from sepsis.

Sepsis deaths

The actor Jason Watkins recently shared a devastating story about his two-year-old daughter. Toddler Maud died 8 years ago. She had been suffering from a sore throat and shortness of breath. Her parents took her to hospital on two occasions, but she was discharged home with antibiotics. Sadly, she died during the night in her bed. The cause was sepsis.

In another harrowing story, an 11-year-old boy injured his ankle while dancing. Shortly afterwards he developed a fever. Over the next few days his condition worsened, and he died from septic shock. The NHS Trust admitted that ‘early signs of sepsis’ were evident on his visit to hospital and that if he had been treated promptly it is likely that he would have survived.

Has anything like this happened to you or to someone close to you?

Have you or someone close to you suffered long term consequences due to inadequately treated infection? Has someone died that could have otherwise lived if the infection had been spotted on time? If medical negligence has resulted in injury or death, you may be able to claim compensation. For infectious disease & sepsis claims to be successful it must be shown that a duty of care was owed the patient and that duty of care was breached, for whatever reason, resulting in harm. If you think you may have a case for compensation as a result of medical negligence, please get in touch with our specialist team. We are ready to hear from you and we want to help. Call 020 7485 8811 or complete our online contact form.

Our Promise to You

  • We will review your potential sepsis claims by advising you on the NHS complaints procedure or other alternative procedure if your case does not relate to NHS care and treatment.
  • We will not charge a fee for our time in reviewing your case.
  • We can assist you with any issues that you may have regarding the complaints procedure or that you encounter in obtaining copies of your medical records.
  • We will advise you of the course of action in respect to your case.

Contact us

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • “Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your tenacity!”

    • You kept me informed at every stage of the process, were easy to speak to and I feel you went beyond your job on a couple of occasions in order to deliver great results. You were very professional and efficient in all aspects of your work and I feel very lucky that I chose you to deal with my case. I will be certainly recommending you in the future to anyone who needs your help.

      Personal Injury department

    • It is the second time we have used Osbornes and in both occasions we have been delighted with the service. The team were highly professional, diligent and always replied to queries promptly. We have no hesitation in highly recommending Osbornes Law.

      Sophie, Trustpilot

    • Lisa Pepper is bright and engaging.

      Legal 500 2012

    • Although there were some anxious moments I must say that overall I enjoyed working with you. It was truly refreshing to find you, someone who came to the rescue at the 11th hour and who knows what they are doing, is proactive, pleasant, honest and has integrity.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates client

    News & InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. 21.9.2022

      Are maternity services safe? – Part 2

      In April last year I wrote a piece about government setting up a taskforce to look into why there are...

      Read more
    2. 8.9.2022

      Poor interpretation of CTG can result in stillbirth...

      Poor interpretation of a Cardiotocograph, more commonly known as a CTG, is a leading cause of stillbirth and brain injuries...

      Read more
    3. 9.8.2022

      New interactive rating tool reveals NHS wait times...

      Amidst record-breaking heatwaves and a lengthy patient waiting list due to COVID backlogs, it is not surprising that this summer...

      Read more
    4. 1.8.2022

      Successful settlement for birth injury that led to...

      Stephanie Prior’s case relating to the death of Gabriela Pintilie has settled and has been approved by the High...

      Read more
    5. 14.7.2022

      Insulin overdose in hospitals due to limited staff...

      A century ago, insulin was first used to treat a 14-year-old boy dying of type 1 diabetes A hundred years later,...

      Read more
    6. 6.7.2022

      GP Negligence claim leading to fatality successfully settled

      Osbornes acted for a Claimant who brought proceedings on behalf of the estate of her late son, X, relating to...

      Read more
    7. 6.7.2022

      NHS aims to reduce waiting times with Elective...

      The NHS recently recorded their waiting list to be at 6.5 million, a record high. Much of this backlog is due...

      Read more
    8. 29.6.2022

      Nottingham Maternity: Donna Ockenden to Chair Independent Inquiry

      An interim report on the state of maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has just been released. However,...

      Read more
    9. Neglijenta medicala spital din UK
      23.5.2022

      Justice for client who suffered serious birth injuries

      The Clinical Negligence team at Osbornes Law have recently negotiated the settlement of a case in which our client sustained...

      Read more
    10. 28.4.2022

      Calls for Public Inquiry into Vaginal Mesh Surgery

      A leading professor from the University of Oxford has called for a public inquiry into the use of vaginal mesh...

      Read more
    11. 14.4.2022

      Severe abdominal pain prolonged due to failed surgery

      Jodi Newton was instructed in a claim against London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust where our client suffered serious...

      Read more
    12. person receiving bad news
      11.4.2022

      Late Cancer Diagnosis Crisis Within NHS

      The Health and Social Care Committee recently released a 52-page report on cancer services, expanding on the crisis in England (...

      Read more
    13. 6.4.2022

      Stephanie Prior Comments on the Ockenden ‘Maternity Scandal’...

      Following the publication of the Ockenden Report, an independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust,...

      Read more
    14. Explaining NHS Never Events
      5.4.2022

      NHS Gynaecology waiting lists rise due to coronavirus

      It has been reported today in the press that as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, gynaecology waiting lists in...

      Read more
    15. 23.3.2022

      Nerve injury following bowel surgery

      Stephanie Prior was instructed in a claim against Luton & Dunstable University Hospital where our client sustained an injury to...

      Read more
    16. 23.2.2022

      Record high waiting lists put cancer patient lives...

      In early January 2022 there were nearly six million people in England waiting for routine operations and treatment: a record high....

      Read more
    17. Neglijenta medicala spital din UK
      23.2.2022

      Women from ethnic minorities experience worse maternity care

      It has been reported today that the government has set up a new task force to look into why there...

      Read more
    18. pregnant lady
      17.2.2022

      999 Call Handlers Maternity Instructions Report

      HSIB Report on Maternity Pre-arrival Instructions from 999 Call Handlers The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (“HSIB”) investigate NHS maternity incidents that...

      Read more
    19. 14.2.2022

      Recent birth injury cases

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families who have suffered a birth injury. We have represented families who have suffered the...

      Read more
    20. 31.1.2022

      Recent fatal medical negligence cases

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families who have suffered a fatality due to inadequate medical care. Our specialist team is...

      Read more
    21. 31.1.2022

      Recent cancer misdiagnosis negligence cases

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families who have suffered due to a delay or missed cancer diagnosis. We represent clients...

      Read more
    22. 31.1.2022

      Recent Brain Injury Client Stories

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families who have suffered a brain injury as a result of medical negligence. Our specialist...

      Read more
    23. 27.1.2022

      Recent cerebral palsy cases

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families where a child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We represent clients and families...

      Read more
    24. 25.1.2022

      Serious Injury Following TVT Surgery

      Case Summary Our client, SG, attended her GP in December 2015 complaining of urinary symptoms including leaking when she laughed or...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL

    Accreditations