Is it possible to claim compensation for contaminated blood in a hospital if I have been diagnosed with liver damage?
Whether it will be possible to claim compensation for contaminated blood in hospital is going to depend on many factors – most importantly the extent of the damage to your liver. If a slight liver abnormality has been diagnosed, which could be treated with a fairly short course of medication, it may not be worth your while to make a claim for receiving a contaminated blood transfusion.
If your injury is more serious, although the value of a contaminated blood compensation claim may be potentially higher, it might also be questioned why you allowed an injury to deteriorate before seeking professional medical advice – any eventual settlement of compensation for contaminated blood in hospital potentially being reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
It is also necessary that you make your claim for receiving a contaminated blood transfusion within two years of being diagnosed with liver damage. After this time you right to make a contaminated blood compensation claim will be time-barred by the Statute of Limitations (please note this limit applies from the date of the diagnosis and not the date of the transfusion).
Furthermore, it has to be established that your liver damage is attributable to receiving contaminated blood in a hospital and not due to some other means. In order to do this, a solicitor would arrange for a medical expert to review the medical procedure(s) you underwent in hospital and obtain details from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service about the blood batch(es) that was used in your transfusion(s).
If you have received multiple blood transfusions – perhaps because you are a haemophiliac or because you have visited the hospital frequently for dialysis treatment – this stage of establishing your entitlement to claim compensation for contaminated blood in a hospital could be long-winded and complicate your claim.
If it transpires that you were indeed given contaminated blood at the hospital, that the batch of contaminated blood can be identified, that it has caused an injury serious enough to warrant a claim for receiving a contaminated blood transfusion and your diagnosis was made within the last two years, it will then be possible to claim compensation for contaminated blood in a hospital.
In this situation such as this, where there are a number of specific questions that need to be answered to confirm your eligibility to make a contaminated blood compensation claim, it would be in your best interests to speak directly with a solicitor. The solicitor will want to know when you initially underwent the hospital treatment in which you received a blood transfusion (and any subsequent dates if you have visited multiple times for blood-related treatment), the diagnosis recently given to you, and how the injury has affected your health and your ability to lead an “everyday” existence.
As establishing your entitlement to claim for receiving a contaminated blood transfusion may take a considerable amount of time, you are advised to speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.