Negligent Blood Test Compensation Claims

By Brett Williams. Last Updated 14th September 2023. If you have been the victim of a negligent blood test that has led to you being injured or contracting an illness, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

Similarly, if an illness was not diagnosed due to either a negligent vaccination or errors during the testing of your blood sample, you could be able to make a medical malpractice claim through a solicitor. Negligent blood testing could occur in either the NHS or the private sector. In this guide, we’ll review negligent blood test compensation claims.

Negligent blood test compensation claims

Negligent blood test

There are lots of different reasons why a patient may need a blood test. It may be a routine check to make sure blood levels are fine, to check if you have an infection, or to confirm a diagnosis. Whatever the reason, you are entitled to expect a minimum standard of care during the procedure. If clinical staff do not pay due care and attention when carrying out your blood test, you could be harmed in a variety of different ways.

Similarly, if mistakes are made during the drawing of blood, such as the same needle being used for more than one patient, you could have grounds to make a personal injury claim.

Find out how Accident Claims UK could help you by reading our guide below. If you are ready to discuss your case with an experienced clinical negligence adviser, please call us on 0800 073 8801.

Select A Section

  1. What Is Blood Test Negligence?
  2. What Is The Bolam Test?
  3. Mistakes Which Could Be Made During A Blood Test
  4. Blood-Borne Viruses Contracted Through Unhygienic Needles
  5. Compensation For Injury Or Illnesses Caused By Negligence During A Blood Test
  6. What Else Could I Claim Compensation For?
  7. Is There A Time Limit For Making A Medical Negligence Claim?
  8. No Win No Fee Solicitors Handling Negligent Blood Test Claims
  9. Blood Test Information And Resources

What Is Blood Test Negligence?

Mistakes could be made in several different ways. Negligence errors may be made when drawing blood, or when selecting needles (using the same needle on different patients). Mix-ups may be made with blood samples, other laboratory tests, or diagnostic errors.

Examples of negligent blood testing, which could lead to a patient being harmed, may include mistakes made by medical staff, such as causing a needle-stick injury during the drawing of blood. Needle-stick injuries may be where a needle, which has already been in contact with other blood samples or tissues, pierces a patient’s skin, possibly transferring an infection. Patients may then require a blood test after a needle-stick injury.

Diagnostic errors could happen if a doctor, or person working in a laboratory misinterprets the results of a test. Other laboratory errors could include the mixing up of different blood tests, and a patient getting the wrong test results.

In this article from the British Medical Journal, you can learn more about routine failures and mistakes in blood testing.

What Is The Bolam Test?

Before proceeding to look in more detail at how you could be harmed, we shall look at two common questions relating to this type of claim. Firstly, what is classed as ‘medical negligence? And how do you prove medical negligence? Put simply, medical negligence or malpractice, is where a medical practitioner has not fulfilled their duty of care to a patient.

To claim compensation, you need to establish that a clinical or medical practitioner has breached their duty of care. All medical practitioners have a duty of care to their patients, and must also follow good practice guidelines, such as those produced by the General Medical Council. The standard which determines whether a medical practitioner has breached their duty of care to a patient (and thus whether a medical negligence claim can be made), is called the Bolam Test. This test was introduced after a 1957 case – Bolam vs Friern Hospital Management Committee.

The Bolam Test compares the actions taken by the medical professional in question. A body of comparable medical professionals decide whether the doctor, nurse or other practitioners in question, acted acceptably. The body can determine whether or not, the person acted negligently or not. This along with other evidence may help your solicitor prove that you were indeed harmed by medical negligence.

Mistakes Which Could Be Made During A Blood Test

As we shall see in the following sections, there are many different ways in which a negligent blood test could cause harm to a patient. These include:

  • Errors in interpreting test results, mixing up the samples, or results of different patients
  • Errors in diagnosing a particular illness, or misdiagnosing an illness
  • Mistakes which lead to a patient acquiring a blood-borne virus, such as sepsis
  • Mistakes during the drawing of blood causing an injury, including damage to the vein or nerves

If any of these or other accidents, errors or mistakes affected you and your health, please talk to our specialist clinical negligence team.

Blood Borne Viruses Contracted Through Unhygienic Needles

Reusing needles or using improperly sterilised or contaminated needles, can be extremely dangerous to a patient’s health. Unhygienic needles could potentially contaminate a patient with a blood-borne virus. Blood-borne virus examples and illness which are communicable through needles include Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV.

These conditions are severe and may not be immediately apparent. For example, HIV initially presents with symptoms similar to the flu lasting for 2 – 6 weeks. After this, the patient appears to get better, though their immune system is damaged.

Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B both affect the liver, and they can be dangerous, though people may be able to fight off acute or short-term cases of Hepatitis B.

There are other blood-borne viruses (BBV) which transmit from person to person. This guide on blood-borne viruses produced by the NHS has additional information.

Compensation For Injury Or Illnesses Caused By Negligence During A Blood Test

A successful compensation claim after a blood test gone wrong could result in a payout that includes general damages and special damages.

The head of claim known as general damages compensates you for the undue pain and suffering caused by clinical negligence. It is based on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. To obtain guidance on general damages payouts, a solicitor could refer to the JCG (Judicial College Guidelines). This publication provides guidelines for general damages payouts for a range of injuries at different severities. 

We have compiled a table with some examples of guideline payouts from the 2022 edition of the JCG below. However, this should only be used as guidance. 

Injury or illness Severity Effects on claimant Settlement
Impairment of Taste and Smell (a) Total Loss of Taste and Smell May be caused either by a head injury or infection. In the region of £39,170
Impairment of Taste and Smell (b) Total Loss of Smell and Significant Loss of Taste If the sense of smell is lost, sense of taste will often be similarly affected. May be caused by infection. £32,900 to £39,170
Impairment of Taste and Smell (c) Loss of Smell May be caused by an infection transferred to the patient or because an infection is not treated. £24,990 to £32,900
Impairment of Taste and Smell (d) Loss of Taste May be caused by an infection transferred to the patient or because an infection is not treated. £19,200 to £24,990
Kidney injury (b) Where there is a urinary tract infection which significantly impairs kidney function. Up to £63,980
Spleen injury (a) Where there is the loss of the spleen and also future risk of internal infection. £20,800 to £26,290
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe (a) Permanent symptoms which prevent the victim working in the future. £59,860 to £100,670
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe (b) The long-term prognosis will be better than for those in the above category. £23,150 to £59,860
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate (c) The victim can and should make a good level of recovery. £8,180 to £23,150
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Less Severe (d) A full recovery should be made in 1 – 2 years. £3,950 to £8,180

To learn more about additional damages you could claim for an illness after a blood test caused by negligence, continue on to the next section. However, if you’d like to get a personalised estimate of your compensation payout, please don’t hesitate to contact an advisor.

What Else Could I Claim Compensation For?

Aside from compensating you for the unnecessary pain and suffering that you have experienced, the role of a compensation settlement is to put you back (as far as possible) in a similar situation as you were before your accident happened.

When your personal injury solicitor calculates the total amount of compensation you might claim, they take a variety of different factors into account. These factors might include the expense of travelling to doctors appointments or other medical treatments as well as for other care which could help with everyday life. Claimants may require further treatment in the future or even of the course of their life. If there are associated costs with such treatment or medication, it may be possible to claim compensation for this too. In addition, if you have suffered nerve damage, you may lose mobility and require home adaptations.

You could also claim compensation if you have had to take time off work and lost income or earnings as a consequence. This could also include projected future losses. All of these costs and expenses would be awarded to you as special damages in a successful negligence claim for compensation.

Is There A Time Limit For Making A Medical Negligence Claim?

Whether there is an applicable personal injury time limit, what this is and how long does a medical negligence claim take are common queries surrounding this type of claim. In general, claims need to be started less than three years either from the date of the injury happening or, of you being made aware of an injury/illness that can be directly linked to the negligence act of a third party.

There are of course exceptions to this. Children are not able to claim compensation on their own. Therefore, an adult can claim at any time from the date of injury or discovery until the child’s 18th birthday. If no claim is made before the child’s eighteenth birthday, the victim then has three years in which to claim compensation. In short, they have up until they are twenty one years of age to seek compensation. A further exception to the three-year rule is that those who lack sufficient mental capacity to claim on their own are not under a time limit.

How long does a medical negligence claim take is a difficult question to answer. Different claims may involve different circumstances and may be more or less complicated to make. Therefore a claim may take between several months and several years to complete in the most complex instances.

No Win No Fee Solicitors Handling Negligent Blood Test Claims

At Accident Claims UK, medical negligence cases we handle, such as those involving NHS compensation claims, are done through No Win No Fee agreements. As a claimant, this means that you could make a personal injury claim without having to make an initial or upfront payment to the solicitor.

If you are offered a No Win No Fee agreement with your personal injury lawyer, you will need to pay the solicitor at the end of your claim (assuming that you have been successful in winning a compensation payout). The amount you pay the solicitor is referred to as a ‘success fee’ and is taken directly from the amount of negligence compensation you are awarded.

If you have any legal questions about claiming a negligent blood test, you can contact the expert team at Accident Claims UK. We are here to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and if you are eligible to make a personal injury claim, we could help you.

When you enquire, there is no obligation to make your claim with our team. You can contact us by dialling 0800 073 8801, or you can use our online contact form to request a call-back from one of our advisers. Please note that we also have a live chat feature where you can talk to us.

Blood Test Information And Resources

Medical negligence is one of the largest areas of personal injury claims. In addition to issues caused by a negligent blood test, there are many other ways in which negligent provision of medical care could cause harm to a patient. Below we have included further relevant claims guides on our site, as well as examples of valuable external resources.

Medical Negligence Claims
This is our guide to general medical negligence claims in which you can learn more about some of the circumstances in which you could claim compensation.

Medical Misdiagnosis Claims
In our guide to claiming compensation for a misdiagnosed illness or condition, you can learn when you may be eligible to make a compensation claim.

NHS Guide To Blood Tests
At this NHS resource, you can find out about the uses for blood tests, how to prepare for your blood test and see what will happen during your blood test.

NHS Blood Infection Risks
This NHS guide looks at the risk of contracting blood-borne virus examples, or infection posed by coming into contact with another person’s blood.

Thank you for reading this article on negligent blood test compensation claims. To learn more or ask any questions, please give us a call today.