- Solicitors For Business
- Solicitors For You
- About Us
- News & Events
Ectopic Pregnancy Claims
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg implants and starts to grow in a place other than the uterus and can have devastating consequences for all concerned. If you or someone you know has suffered an ectopic pregnancy and believe it to have been caused by a misdiagnosis or delay in treatment by a doctor or nurse, you may be entitled to compensation for the distress caused. The experienced team at JMW is here to provide the expert guidance you need.
We understand that going through an ectopic pregnancy can be extremely difficult and bringing legal proceedings may seem a complex and daunting prospect. However, we will support you every step of the way, giving you the best chance of success with your ectopic pregnancy claim. Call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
Click on the links below to navigate to a specific section or scroll down:
- About Ectopic Pregnancy
- Types of Ectopic Pregnancy Negligence
- Further Reading: Diagnosis
- Further Reading: Treatment
- Further Reading: Future Pregnancies
- Further Reading: Causes
- Why Choose JMW?
- What Our Clients Say
- Talk To Us
An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg begins to grow outside of the uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes. The vast majority of ectopic pregnancies do indeed occur in the fallopian tube, and are therefore frequently referred to as tubal pregnancies. However, sometimes the egg will implant on the ovary or cervix, or even in the abdominal cavity.
The most common reason for ectopic pregnancy is damage to the fallopian tubes, which is most often caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. However, there are also other causes, such as pelvic surgery and endometriosis.
Ectopic pregnancy is both common and very serious, for if left untreated it can lead to massive internal bleeding and even death. Fortunately, in 80% of cases the diagnosis is made before rupture of the tube occurs.
In the event of an ectopic pregnancy, unfortunately the pregnancy cannot be saved.
An ectopic pregnancy claim may arise for any number of reasons. Examples of negligence in this area include:
- Healthcare professionals missing the tell-tale signs of an ectopic pregnancy, leading to a late diagnosis
- Mistakes made during surgery to remove ectopic pregnancies
- Surgery being left incomplete
- Patients not being appropriately monitored post-surgery
Ectopic pregnancies are sometimes difficult to diagnose, but should be suspected if a woman has:
- A history of late menses (the majority present after eight weeks of amenorrhoea)
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- 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), which makes diagnosis difficult.
If an ectopic pregnancy is suspected it can often be confirmed by checking hormone levels (HCG), which are different in abnormal and normal pregnancies. Pelvic ultrasound scans are also often used to make a diagnosis.
Emergency medical help should be sought if you experience a combination of the following, which can signal that the fallopian tube has split open:
- Intense, sharp pain in the stomach
- Feelings of sickness
- Fainting or feeling extremely dizzy
- Looking very pale
If an ectopic pregnancy is 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 rupture has occurred, the pregnancy is removed with part or all of the damaged tube using endoscopic (keyhole) surgery. Sometimes a laparotomy (opening of the abdomen) will be necessary if bleeding is severe. The ovary is generally preserved.
There is an approximately 12% recurrence rate of an ectopic pregnancy, so women with a previous history should be closely monitored in early pregnancy using HCG testing and ultrasound scanning.
It is not always clear why an ectopic pregnancy has been caused. However, increased risk is associated with the following:
- Previous ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- IVF and other forms of fertility treatment
- Previous surgery on the fallopian tubes
- Being aged between 35 and 40
We regularly help the victims of missed ectopic pregnancies and other forms of negligence claim financial compensation for pain and suffering and loss of earnings. Our clinical negligence team is led by respected solicitor Eddie Jones. It also includes members of the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors' panel and the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence.
We understand how distressing it can be to go through something like this, and the prospect of then going through legal proceedings can be particularly daunting. However, we are here to support you throughout the entire process. We take a sympathetic approach and will provide the guidance you need to make a successful claim.