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Compensation for woman who lost baby after intrauterine device fitted by GP

Maria Panteli has secured compensation for a woman who did not realise she was pregnant

Photo of urine test: istock

25 April 2012

Specialist clinical negligence solicitor Maria Panteli has successfully obtained compensation for a woman whose baby died after her GP fitted her with an intrauterine device (coil).

In September 2008 Mrs X visited her GP as she wanted to have a contraceptive coil fitted.  Unbeknownst to our client she was 21 weeks pregnant, a fact which her GP failed to recognise, despite the fact that Mrs X’s uterus would have been enlarged and palpable.  The GP failed to carry out a pregnancy test or bimanual examination before she fitted the device.

A week later our client returned to her GP practice because she was suffering from pain in her pelvis, was shaking, and was suffering from headaches.  She has also been unable to identify the thread of the coil. A different GP examined her, carried out a pregnancy test, and told her that she was pregnant. This was a profound shock to Mrs X. In a distressed state she went to a friend’s house where she noticed that she was bleeding heavily, and experiencing a strong desire to push with her pelvic muscles.  She was later taken by ambulance to the A&E Department. A few hours later she delivered a baby, together with the uterine device.  Very sadly, Mrs X’s baby son died soon after delivery.

Following this experience our client was heartbroken, and blamed herself for her son’s death. She experienced mood swings, disturbances of sleep and appetite and poor concentration.  This continued for several months and Mrs X was prescribed anti-depressants.

An inquiry into the case was carried out by the primary care trust.  The trust recommended that the GP practice should consider always carrying out an urine test before fitting an intrauterine device.  It was also recommended that the GP should review her record keeping as the GP did not record sufficient detail of the examination to be able to establish whether or not a bimanual examination had been carried out prior to the fitting of the intrauterine device.

Following negotiations with the GP’s medical defence compensation has been paid to Maria’s client for the loss of her baby, for pain and distress to the baby and to Mrs X, for funeral expenses, and for psychiatric injury to Mrs X.  The compensation will help Mrs X with the cost of a course of cognitive behavioural therapy as she continues to experience a major depressive illness.

For more information please contact clinical negligence solicitor Maria Panteli on 020 7650 1200.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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