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£62,000 settlement following unintended termination of pregnancy during hysterectomy

Clinical negligence case settles for couple after pregnancy terminated

Photo of surgical nurse: istock

13 September 2012

Partner Alison Millar and her assistant solicitor, Charlotte Skouby, have recently successfully concluded a case on behalf of their clients Mr and Mrs X following the unintended termination of Mrs X’s pregnancy during a planned total abdominal hysterectomy.

On 13 November 2007 Mrs X was admitted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital for the hysterectomy operation as planned. It was noted by the consultant performing surgery that Mrs X’s uterus was abnormally large however he continued with the procedure. Following removal of Mrs X’s cervix though he became concerned about the possibility of a pregnancy and, upon opening the uterine cavity, discovered a fetus which histology subsequently confirmed was of a length approximating to 14 weeks’ gestational age.

The Defendant NHS Trust admitted the fact of the inadvertent termination of a male fetus, acknowledging that once surgery had begun and Mrs X’s uterus could be viewed post-incision, a diagnosis of pregnancy should have been made. At this point, the pregnancy would still have been viable and Mrs X could have continued to term to deliver a baby boy.

Both Mr and Mrs X were devastated at the news that they had lost a much-wanted son to add to their family of three daughters and suffered psychiatric injuries as a result of their experience. The settlement which Alison and Charlotte secured on their behalf includes compensation to recognise these injuries as well as the consequential financial losses this family suffered as a result of the negligent treatment they received. It would not have been possible without the benefit of public funding.

Alison said:

 “This was a very unusual and obviously devastating case which has caused great distress to our client. We are very glad to have secured a settlement for them which recognises their injuries and enables them now to close this most unhappy chapter of their lives”.

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Clinical negligence

Who worked on this case

Alison Millar

Charlotte Skouby