Case Study: Negligent Fitting of Contraceptive Coil

Trauma caused by abortion and gynaecological problems

Compensation: £10,000

This case study outlines how we helped a woman claim £10,000 compensation after doctors failed to carry out essential checks before carrying out a contraception fitting which led to numerous complications and failed to stop her becoming pregnant, resulting in a termination.

If you are looking for information on how JMW can help you to make a claim yourself you can go directly to our failure of contraception claims page here.

Sandra attended her GP (Dr M) to have an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD/coil) fitted. Although she was asked about the date of her last period Dr M failed to enquire whether she had had intercourse since this date. The fitting of the Mirena coil went ahead and was uneventful.

Three months later, Sandra experienced heavy uterine bleeding with numerous clots, and then she consulted Mr M, who prescribed painkillers and hormones for regulating menstruation.

Positive pregnancy test

Sandra was very concerned about the bleeding and felt she needed a second opinion, so she attended the local walk-in centre where a pregnancy test proved positive.

An ultrasound scan performed 3 days later revealed a 17 week + 4 days fetus, and when a more detailed scan was performed the following day it was realised that the fetus was abnormal and she was advised to end the pregnancy.

Sandra was given drugs to terminate the pregnancy and 2 days later at home she spontaneously expelled the stillborn fetus, an experience she found most distressing.

Allegation of negligence

It is alleged that Dr M failed to follow national guidelines for the fitting of IUCD’s and was therefore negligent. The coil should have been fitted within 7 days of the onset of menstruation and the possibility of pregnancy should have been excluded either by testing or confirmation of abstinence or protected intercourse.

Because of Dr M’s negligence Sandra suffered weeks of discomfort and anxiety and bleeding so severe she was reluctant to leave the house. She also had to go through a very unpleasant termination. If the pregnancy had been diagnosed in January, when she first consulted Dr M, Sandra would still have wanted a termination but because it was so early in the pregnancy it would have been far less traumatic

Involvement of the General Medical Council (GMC)

Sandra complained to the GMC about the standard of care she had received from Dr M and after consulting a GP expert they concluded that “Dr M’s knowledge of IUCD usage, fitting and complications and her record keeping were inadequate and the overall treatment provided by her to SH fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent GP, but not seriously below”.

Settlement of the Claim

Although initially Dr M’s medical insurance company defended the claim, the case was eventually settled by one of JMW’s experienced solicitors for £10,000 following the ruling from the GMC.

Have you also suffered due to negligent contraceptive fitting?

For more information about compensation claims similar to this, get in touch with us today. You can do this by calling us for free on 0800 054 6512, or by completing the enquiry form here. Alternatively, read another case study here.

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