Delay in diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, resulting in loss of fallopian tube – five figure compensation secured

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Delay in diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, resulting in loss of fallopian tube – five figure compensation secured

Melissa, 31

Suleikha Ali, a specialist medical negligence solicitor based in JMW’s London office, secured a five-figure sum of compensation for her client Melissa, following a delay in diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy.

Pregnancy pain

When Melissa was approximately five weeks pregnant, she started to bleed and experience abdominal pains. As her symptoms got worse, and she developed pain in her shoulder, she called NHS 111 and was advised to go straight to hospital.

Melissa attended the urgent care centre at Hillingdon Hospital and was seen by a nurse, who was concerned that she may have had an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy happens when an embryo implants itself somewhere other than the womb, e.g. in one of the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and should be treated as a medical emergency as they can cause severe internal damage and even death in the most severe cases.

Melissa was sent to the hospital’s A&E Department and was seen by a doctor who reportedly discussed her case with a gynaecology specialist. However, Melissa was then informed that she was suffering a miscarriage and was discharged home with pain medication. Melissa did not have an ultrasound scan of her abdomen to confirm where the pregnancy was or any blood tests.

Worsening symptoms

At home Melissa’s abdominal pain got worse and she continued to suffer vaginal bleeding. It got so bad that three days later on the evening of 9 December 2020, Melissa called an ambulance. She was transferred back to the emergency department at Hillington Hospital.

On this occasion, she was assessed by an A&E doctor, whose impression was that Melissa had suffered an ectopic pregnancy. Melissa was referred to the on-call gynaecology team. Melissa was admitted to hospital but was advised that she would have to wait until the following morning to have an ultrasound scan to confirm whether she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy.

As a result of Melissa being in so much pain, and having difficulties breathing, a gynaecologist was called to perform the scan more urgently, which revealed that Melissa had suffered a ruptured left fallopian tube due to an ectopic pregnancy. She was transferred straight to theatre for surgery and removal of the embryo and fallopian tube. Melissa also underwent a blood transfusion.

JMW’s investigation

Melissa was put in touch with JMW’s London medical negligence team and her case was taken on by specialist solicitor Suleikha Ali. Suleikha obtained expert evidence from an independent consultant gynaecologist, who concluded that there were failures in the care that Melissa received. Furthermore the expert found that with the right level of care her ectopic pregnancy would have been diagnosed earlier and she would have avoided the rupture of her fallopian tube and the pain and suffering this caused. This included the psychological impact of being taken by ambulance to hospital on her own during the Covid-19 pandemic and having to wait in agonising pain to find out what was wrong.

The NHS trust responsible for Hillingdon Hospital, made a full admission of negligence and Suleikha was then able to begin negotiating a compensation settlement. Suleikha secured a five figure sum for Melissa to help with her recovery.

Suleikha, Melissa’s specialist medical negligence solicitor at JMW, commented:

“I am pleased to have secured this settlement for Melissa. By obtaining an early admission and compensation my client is now able to access the treatment that she needs and able to move forward from this awful experience.”

Suleikha Ali, Senior Associate

Talk to Us

JMW Solicitors regularly helps with clients who have suffered due to medical negligence. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today on 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, fill out our online form and we will be in touch at a time convenient for you.

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