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Ectopic pregnancy compensation award

Significant six-figure sum after life-threatening ectopic pregnancy diagnosis delayed

Posted on 08 June 2011

Clinical negligence specialist solicitor Suzanne White has secured a six-figure sum of compensation for her client, X, whose ectopic pregnancy was missed by Basildon Hospital.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a pregnancy develops in the wrong place, outside the uterus.  Most ectopic pregnancies occur in one of the fallopian tubes.  If the pregnancy is not recognised the tube can rupture causing internal bleeding which can be fatal.

Suzanne’s client was a healthy 30 year old woman at the time that she became pregnant.  Having experienced episodes of bleeding whilst on holiday and on her return, X went to her GP who referred her to the Emergency Gynaecology Unit (EGU) at Basildon Hospital where she was seen by a senior house office who took a blood test, swabs and her blood pressure and requested an ultrasound scan.  Her blood tests suggested that she was still pregnant, but these were not followed up. Her scan also showed an ectopic pregnancy but the scan results were incorrectly interpreted. X was told that she had a complete miscarriage and she was sent home. 

Our client was discharged home and her bleeding continued.  She eventually collapsed and was taken to A&E at Basildon where an ectopic pregnancy and hypo-volaemic shock were diagnosed.  Our client was not aware that on her original visit to the EGU that the appropriate blood and progesterone tests had not been carried out, contrary to the unit’s guidelines, which would have indicated to medical staff that an ectopic pregnancy was likely to be present.  If this pregnancy had been diagnosed X would not have suffered a life-threatening collapse or had to undergo emergency open surgery which has severely compromised her future fertility.

Our client has now received compensation for the substandard and negligent medical care that she received at Basildon Hospital.

Suzanne said of the case:

My client presented at Hospital with some very concerning symptoms and was investigated for an ectopic pregnancy. Both the blood test and my client’s ultrasound scan should have led to a diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy. Important unit guidelines were not followed.

It was not until my client collapsed and nearly died that a diagnosis was finally  made. My client is a young professional women wanting to start a family. Her fertility has been severely compromised because of the negligent care she received at Basildon Hospital.

My client is bravely getting on with her life but  the failure to make a diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy could have been so very easily avoided. “

For more information please contact Suzanne White on 020 7650 1200.

Ectopic pregnancy compensation

Clinical negligence solicitors at Leigh Day are highly experienced in dealing with medical accident claims relating to obstetric and gynaecology.  The team of specialist clinical negligence lawyers includes lawyers who have also trained as doctors and radiographers and who are able to analyse your potential claim for compensation with expert judgment.  To speak to one of our team about a possible claim please contact us on 020 7650 1200 and ask to speak to the new client.

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