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Claiming Compensation For Body Piercing Accidents
Body piercing is an explosive new craze among young people in the UK. A 2008 report published by the British Medical Journal found that almost half of women aged between 16 and 24 have had a body piercing in a site other than the earlobe. Around a third of all piercings in this age group require medical attention, and the cost of treatment on the NHS is thought to be in the region of £1.5 million per year. While earlobe piercing has been popular for generations, young people increasingly opt for piercings in other areas, especially the tongue, lips, nose and navel (belly button).
These areas of the body are susceptible to the accumulation of bacteria, and reports of infections caused by such piercings have been widely reported. The industry has been regulated in the UK since 2006, and practitioners are required both to register with local authorities and submit to regular health and safety inspections. They should have also spent at least 2 years as an apprentice to an experienced body piercer. Such regulation is however complicated by two external factors - there is no minimum age for most types of body piercing, unlike tattooing, and young people will generally choose the cheapest place to have their piercing done, rather the most hygienic.
Body Piercing - What Can Go Wrong?
Given the sensitivity of the most popular areas for body piercing, an inexperienced or negligent piercer can cause severe damage to customers. Where dirty needles or piercing guns are used, bacterial infections may result, which can ultimately lead to blood poisoning and in extreme circumstances death. More regularly such infections will manifest themselves in cysts and keloids (raised scars) on the skin. Where antibiotics fail to treat such infections, the result can be some level of permanent deformity. Similar to tattooing, unhygienic body piercing practices may also transmit serious diseases of the blood, including hepatitis B or C, tetanus and even HIV.
Body Piercing - Other Medical Issues
Medical problems may result if a customer suffers an allergic reaction to the metals used in body ornaments. In the case of mouth piercings this can cause respiratory, dental and speech problems. Nerves, blood vessels and arteries may also be damaged if a body piercer misdirects their needle or piercing gun by even a fraction of an inch. Customers have a legal right to expect a competent service from a body piercing professional. Where a body piercing salon has negligently failed in its duty of care to clients, it may be liable to a claim for compensation.
Claiming Compensation For Accidents At Body Piercing Studios
We have recently dealt with cases in which body piercing procedures have gone disastrously wrong for clients. In the resulting compensation claims we have recovered damages for pain and suffering, as well as medical and travel expenses and loss of earnings for time off work. Compensation awards for pain and suffering alone may be in excess of £3,000.
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