Persistent post-COVID syndrome also referred to as long COVID is an illness which involves persistent, physical and medical injury following primary acquisition of COVID-19. At less than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic many long-term effects of SARS-COV-2 infection remain unclear. However, medical journals have confirmed new evidence is emerging rapidly about symptom profiles and the rehabilitation needs of covid-19 survivors in the initial months of their recovery.
In an article published in the British Medical Journal on the 23rd of December 2020 it was stated that long-COVID was thought to incur in 10% of people infected with COVID-19. There are likely more than 5 million people affected globally.
Emerging evidence has indicated that a majority of people who require hospitalisation for COVID-19 experience sequelae such as fatigue and shortness of breath in the months following their hospital discharge.
Covid-19 survivors have frequently also reported mental health challenges and persistent neurological symptoms following hospital discharge. These include memory loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain and chest pain and in some cases sleep disorders.
With regard to possible legal compensation claims that might arise, Liam Moloney Personal Injury Solicitor said today “with regard to possible litigation claims for negligent acquisition of COVID-19 these will have to centre on the fundamental issues as how a person in a Hospital or nursing home was initially exposed to and developed Covid-19 infection. In most cases that is an entirely unanswerable question as those who acquire infection may have caught it at home, at school, at work or on public transport. These are simply the activities of daily living which do not give rise to a cause of action for compensation under Irish Law.
However a long term care home resident who has been, at least with regard to infection, fit and well may have caught their infection from a visitor, from another resident, or from a member of the nursing home staff. In these cases, any potential legal claim could focus upon the deficiencies in the standard of hygiene and infection prevention that permitted the infection to come into the care home itself and then to spread among residents”.
Mr Moloney added, “there may be other cases where people went to Hospital with an unrelated condition to coronavirus such as a fractured bone or other problem. They may have had no evidence of coronavirus infection and been well for several days and were then exposed to the coronavirus infection from perhaps one or more coronavirus positive patients or from a member of staff.
Issues of liability that would have to be considered by the courts if such compensation claims were pursued would be the infection control policies in nursing homes and hospitals, the provision of appropriate protective equipment and proper resources for staff such as hand washing facilities, alcohol hand rubs, good ventilation, no mixing in common areas, failure to maximise space between beds, restricting visitors and having the appropriate protocols to ensure the protection of patients and staff alike.”
Mr Moloney continued “these cases will have liability and causation issues and undoubtedly in some instances will be difficult cases to pursue. It can be difficult to pinpoint where the infection was initially acquired or whether it was acquired negligently or not.”
Liam Moloney Solicitor
25th of June 2021
*In contentious business a Solicitor may not charge a fee based on a percentage of an award of damages or a settlement achieved in a litigation case.
*This article is recent by Liam Moloney Solicitor for the purposes of providing informed advice to perspective clients and to injury victims. This article is not written in any way to promote the taking of any litigation case relating to Covid-19 and is not written to Solicit any client to do so. Any claim for compensation that may arise from negligent contraction of Covid-19 will ultimately have to be determined by the Courts if a full Defence is filed to the claim by any potential Defendant.