Hepatitis C can be transmitted in a number of ways.
Health workers, for example, are at risk of contracting the disease if they suffer a sharps injury – accidentally pricking themselves with a contaminated needle. In the past the virus has also been transmitted through transfusions of contaminated blood or blood products. The risks are particularly high with:
- blood transfusions that took place prior to October 1991 - before screening was introduced.
- Factor 8, which is a product used for coagulation of blood for haemophiliacs. The virus is eradicated from blood products by heat treatment, but heat treatment of blood was only implemented in Scotland in about 1987 and in England in about 1984/85.
Other risk factors include:
- Haemodialysis – a treatment for those with kidney failure
- Hairdressers and barbers – if they make use of scissors, razors etc. that are not properly cleaned in between clients
- Sharing razors and toothbrushes at home
- Medical and dental procedures in countries where the use of sterilised equipment is not enforced
- Piercing and tattoos – where sterilised equipment is not used
The risk from most of these factors is very low, but if you are at all concerned that you may have the virus you should contact your doctor immediately in order to receive a diagnosis.
For more than a decade Thompsons campaigned alongside the Scottish Haemophilia Group’s Forum in order to secure public inquiry into the scandal of the thousands of Scots infected with Hepatitis C as result of contaminated NHS blood.
In 2008 we won a landmark court ruling, which held that the Lord Advocate was wrong to refuse an Inquiry into the deaths of two of our clients as a result of contracting Hep C. The ruling also held that the State had to hold an Inquiry.
You can read about the Skipton Inquiry, here.
Help from Thompsons today
If you or a loved one has developed Hepatitis C due to the negligence of another person, you may have a claim for compensation. Call our specialist No Win No Fee Lawyers for FREE legal advice on 0800 0891331.