Misdiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy Compensation Claims

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Misdiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy Compensation Claims

If you or a loved one have experienced an ectopic pregnancy and believe it was misdiagnosed or subject to delayed treatment by a doctor or nurse, you may be entitled to claim compensation. The experienced team at JMW is here to provide you with expert guidance to make sure you have the best chance of making a successful claim. 

We understand that experiencing an ectopic pregnancy can be extremely difficult, and taking legal action may seem a complex and daunting prospect. However, we will support you every step of the way with your ectopic pregnancy claim and take as much responsibility off your shoulders as possible.

Call us for a free, no-obligation chat about your case by calling 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible. We offer no win, no fee legal services. 

How JMW Can Help

Our medical negligence solicitors have a proven track record of helping those who have experienced negligence in the treatment of their ectopic pregnancies. We will offer expert legal advice and compassionate support to help you claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced.

Ectopic pregnancy compensation claims can be instrumental in helping you to recover from the impact associated with experiencing negligent treatment at the hands of a medical professional. By making a claim, you can obtain financial support to help you recoup any financial losses you have experienced, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

JMW’s medical negligence team is led by respected solicitor Eddie Jones and includes members of the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors’ panel and the Law Society’s specialist panel of clinical negligence solicitors.

We understand how distressing it is to experience an ectopic pregnancy and go through subsequent legal proceedings. We are here to support you in claiming the compensation you deserve. We strive to make the process as simple as possible for you by explaining any complex aspects in jargon-free language and taking the bulk of the legal responsibility from your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life. 

Additionally, we can handle your ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis claim on a no win, no fee basis, meaning you have financial peace of mind.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg begins to grow outside of the uterus, such as in the fallopian tube. The vast majority of ectopic pregnancies happen in the fallopian tube - this is frequently referred to as a tubal pregnancy. However, sometimes the fertilised egg will implant on the ovary, cervix or abdominal cavity.

The most common reason for ectopic pregnancy is damage to the affected fallopian tube, which is often caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. However, there are also other causes, such as pelvic surgery and endometriosis.

Ectopic pregnancy is common and extremely serious, with data from the NHS showing that around one in every 90 pregnancies in the UK is ectopic - around 11,000 pregnancies a year. If left untreated, it can lead to massive internal bleeding and even death. Often, the diagnosis is made before the rupture of the tube occurs. An ectopic pregnancy cannot be saved, even if it is diagnosed early.

Seek emergency medical help if you experience any combination of the following symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, which can signal that the fallopian tube has split open: 

  • Intense, sharp pain in the stomach 
  • Feelings of sickness 
  • Fainting or feeling extremely dizzy
  • Very pale skin

How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

Ectopic pregnancies can be difficult to diagnose, but should be suspected if a woman has: 

  • Missed a period, had a positive pregnancy test or other general signs of pregnancy
  • Changes in your period - ectopic pregnancy bleeding is different in colour to a normal period, and can be watery or dark brown in colour, with bleeding that often starts and stops
  • Abdominal pain

Shoulder pain and a feeling of rectal pressure can sometimes also occur, but some women have no symptoms other than those of early pregnancy. As a result, diagnosis can be difficult.

If an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, the medical professional should confirm it by checking levels of the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which can be used to differentiate between abnormal and normal pregnancies. Pelvic ultrasound scans can also be used to make a diagnosis. If the woman’s HCG levels are rising but no embryo or fertilised egg can be identified in the uterus, ectopic pregnancy should be suspected.

When Can I Make a Medical Negligence Ectopic Pregnancy Claim?

Ectopic pregnancy claims may arise for any number of reasons. Examples of possible medical negligence in this area include:

  • Healthcare professionals mistaking the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy for another condition, leading to a delayed diagnosis - for example, a missed period may be interpreted as a sign of stress, or a side effect of weight loss
  • Scans following a pregnancy test being misinterpreted, leading to the pregnancy being incorrectly deemed to be normal and healthy 
  • Surgery not being carried out as promptly as it ought to have been
  • Mistakes made during surgery to remove ectopic pregnancies, or surgery being left incomplete 
  • Patients not being appropriately monitored following surgery

If you have received negligent treatment for an ectopic pregnancy, it could be vital to make a medical negligence claim. Compensation can help you to deal with any emotional trauma or long-lasting physical effects of an ectopic pregnancy, and make your recovery more comfortable. It can also account for any costs or financial losses incurred due to the negligence you experienced.

What Happens if an Ectopic Pregnancy Is Misdiagnosed?

Delays or mistakes in diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy can result in severe consequences for the patient, potentially even putting her life at risk. Alternatively, it may result in the patient requiring much more invasive surgery to correct the problem than would have been needed if the condition was diagnosed early.

Here are some of the potential consequences when a possible ectopic pregnancy is missed:

  • Physical health risks - the primary risk of a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy is a rupture of the fallopian tube where the egg has implanted. This can cause severe internal bleeding and is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery - if not treated promptly, it can be life-threatening.
  • Loss of fertility - a ruptured ectopic pregnancy can damage the fallopian tubes, potentially leading to infertility.
  • Emotional impact - experiencing an ectopic pregnancy can be emotionally traumatic, particularly if it leads to emergency surgery, loss of fertility, or if it was a wanted pregnancy. The emotional impact can be even greater if the ectopic pregnancy was misdiagnosed, as the woman may feel that she suffered unnecessary pain because her symptoms were not taken seriously, or that she did not receive the care she needed.
  • Financial consequences - medical treatment for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, including surgery and hospital care, can result in various expenses due to time taken off work, or the direct cost of private care.

Because the consequences of misdiagnosing an ectopic pregnancy are so serious, it is essential that healthcare professionals accurately diagnose and promptly treat this condition to prevent these complications.

If it can be shown that an NHS doctor, nurse or midwife provided negligent care that led to the misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy, their NHS trust could be held legally responsible, giving the patient grounds to make a medical negligence claim for ectopic pregnancy compensation.

How do I make an ectopic pregnancy compensation claim?

If you have been subjected to medical negligence and want to make a claim, the ectopic pregnancy compensation claims process works as follows:

  • Contact us for your free initial consultation. We will discuss the circumstances of your case, the harm you believe you have suffered, and any evidence you may already have, so that we can advise you on whether you have grounds to bring a claim.
  • If you decide to proceed, we will begin an investigation. This typically involves gathering evidence, obtaining your medical records, and identifying the healthcare professionals involved. We will also consult with medical experts to get an independent assessment of whether the standard of care you received was acceptable.
  • Once we have assembled a strong case, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the healthcare organisation responsible. This letter outlines the details of your case, the negligence you believe occurred, and the impact it has had on your life.
  • The defendant will have four months to either admit or deny liability. If they admit liability, we can negotiate a settlement; if not, we may need to gather further evidence to support your claim.
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, your solicitor may recommend issuing court proceedings. Even if this happens, it is most likely that the case will be settled before without needing a trial. Throughout this process, the team at JMW will guide you, keep you informed, and represent your best interests. Our aim is always to secure the maximum compensation for you, while minimising the stress and disruption to your life.

We can represent your ectopic pregnancy case on a no win, no fee basis, also known as a conditional fee agreement. This means that you do not pay any legal fees if your case is unsuccessful. If the case is successful, the majority of your legal fees are paid by the other side; only a capped amount will be left to be paid from your compensation, which will be discussed with you in advance.

Why make an ectopic pregnancy claim?

If your case is successful, you will receive a settlement or judgment in your favour. Successful medical negligence claims can provide several benefits for you:

  • Financial - compensation can cover medical expenses, lost earnings and other costs related to your misdiagnosis and subsequent treatment. This can provide significant financial support at a difficult time
  • Recognition of suffering - a successful claim can provide recognition of the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the misdiagnosis of your ectopic pregnancy, and help you move on from this distressing incident
  • Preventing future negligence - by holding healthcare providers accountable for their negligence, you can ensure that the right lessons are learned, and help to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future

If you are looking to make a compensation claim for an ectopic pregnancy, get in touch with JMW today, and we will provide guidance on everything you will need to know about the claims process.

FAQs About Ectopic Pregnancy Negligence

How is an ectopic pregnancy treated?

If ectopic pregnancies are diagnosed before rupture has occurred, medical management may be a possibility. This involves the injection of the drug methotrexate, which halts the division of the fertilised cells. 

If fallopian tubes are ruptured due to an ectopic pregnancy, surgery will be carried out to remove the fertilised egg with part or all of the damaged tube. This will be done using endoscopic (keyhole) surgery, although sometimes a laparotomy (opening of the abdomen) will be necessary if bleeding is severe. The ovary is usually able to be preserved.

Read more about the treatment of ectopic pregnancies on the NHS website.

What are the causes and risk factors of an ectopic pregnancy?

It is not always clear what has caused an ectopic pregnancy. However, certain factors can increase a woman's risk of experiencing this condition, including:

  • Previous ectopic pregnancy - if a woman has had one ectopic pregnancy, she is more likely to have another
  • Inflammation or infection - sexually transmitted infections or other infections in the reproductive organs can cause inflammation that may block the fallopian tubes
  • Fertility treatments - women who are undergoing fertility treatments, or who are using fertility medications, have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Tubal surgery - procedures in the fallopian tubes, such as sterilisation surgery, can lead to scarring and blockages
  • Age - the risk of ectopic pregnancy increases with age, particularly for women aged 35 and above
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking at the time of conception can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy

Doctors should recognise these risk factors and take steps to address them. If they fail to do so and this causes an ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis, or you experience other problems, you may be entitled to make a claim.

How much does it cost to make an ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis claim?

In most cases, JMW will take on your ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis claim under a conditional fee agreement, also called a no win, no fee agreement. This means that there is nothing to pay if your claim is unsuccessful, as long as you take out insurance with our recommended provider. If the case is successful, the majority of our fees are paid by the other side, with only a capped amount payable from your compensation, which will be discussed with you in advance. 

Working with JMW means more than just a no win, no fee solicitor - we can also offer free legal advice on whether or not you are eligible to claim, and get the process started on your behalf. Contact our team today to learn whether you have a valid claim for an ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis.

How much compensation can you get for ectopic pregnancy settlements?

UK ectopic pregnancy claims are usually settled out of court. This means that the responsible party - which may be a doctor or hospital trust - admits their liability for the negligence straight away. From there, your solicitor will begin to negotiate a fair amount of compensation.

This will be designed to compensate you for any pain and suffering you experienced due to the negligent treatment, including mental injuries or psychological effects associated with your physical symptoms. It will account for financial losses and can help you to pay for anything you need during your recovery.

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If you have suffered an ectopic pregnancy that was misdiagnosed or there was a delay in your treatment, speak to our ectopic pregnancy solicitors today to enquire about making a no win, no fee missed ectopic pregnancy claim. Contact us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

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