Woman left infertile after ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosed - £100,000

‘Claire’, 34

Kimberley Peet, a specialist medical negligence solicitor at JMW helped a woman to secure £100,000 in compensation to cover the cost of IVF after negligent treatment for an ectopic pregnancy left her infertile.

Pain and bleeding

Two days after Claire’s pregnancy was confirmed she began to experience a sharp pain in the right hand side of her abdomen and some blood loss. She was concerned that she may be suffering from an ectopic pregnancy so she attended A&E with her husband. Claire was referred to the gynaecology ward for assessment and her pain became worse and more uncomfortable. Blood tests were taken and an ultrasound scan requested.

However, when the ultrasound scan was carried out it was misinterpreted by the sonographer who negligently reported that the pregnancy was in her uterus and was definitely not ectopic. The sonographer told Claire that there was no heartbeat and that it looked like she was having a miscarriage. She was sent home with pain relief and advised to return for a review scan in two weeks’ time.

Claire was told not to return if the pain and bleeding continued as this was considered normal.

Ruptured fallopian tube

Once at home Claire continued to remain in pain on her right side. This became progressively worse and she developed a swollen stomach and felt light-headed and dizzy when she stood up. Claire and her husband were concerned about what was happening and considered going back to hospital, however, as they had been told with absolute certainty that she did not have an ectopic pregnancy Claire decided not to return and waste anyone’s time. She thought that she must be experiencing the side effects of the miscarriage.

Claire’s condition deteriorated and she developed a temperature and the pain became progressively worse. 9 days after her original hospital attendance Claire collapsed. Her husband called NHS 111 and tried to get an appointment with an out of hours GP but when he explained her symptoms they were advised to go straight to A&E.

In A&E Claire was found to be severely anaemic and an ultrasound scan revealed fluid in her pelvis. She was listed for surgery that day and told that doctors suspected an ectopic pregnancy. Claire underwent surgery that evening and her right fallopian tube was found to be severely ruptured due to an ectopic pregnancy. The surgeon found two litres of blood in her abdomen which the surgeon removed, along with the right fallopian tube to prevent further bleeding. Claire’s doctors confirmed that her remaining left fallopian tube was filled with blood.

The following day Claire was given the devastating news that because of the amount of bleeding in her uterus and abdomen her left fallopian tube had been badly damaged and that she would probably not be able to conceive naturally. She was later told that if she decided to go ahead with IVF treatment then this would be more successful if she also had the left fallopian tube surgically removed. She had this surgery a few months later.

Claire is now reliant on IVF for any future pregnancy.

Successful medical negligence claim

Claire and her husband were distraught that she had been left infertile following the misdiagnosis of her ectopic pregnancy. They had always planned to have three children and are now reliant on successful IVF to achieve even one successful pregnancy.

The couple were provided with 1 round IVF as part of NHS care but this was unfortunately unsuccessful. However, because they were awarded £100,000 after JMW brought a successful medical negligence claim against the hospital they now have the ability to pay for private fertility treatment and IVF in the hope of one day achieving their dream of having a family.

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