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Compensation to fund IVF treatment after medical error

Woman settles case after hospital failed to diagnose ectopic pregnancy

Posted on 26 August 2016

Mrs G a 33 year old woman has settled her medical negligence claim against The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust following the failure of medical staff to diagnose her ectopic pregnancy in good time.

Mrs G was represented by medical negligence partner at Leigh Day, Emmalene Bushnell, who said, “because of the poor care my client received she lost her remaining fallopian tube, threatening her chances of becoming pregnant.”

Mrs G is the mother of two children.  In 2007 she underwent surgery for a fallopian tube abscess, resulting in the loss of a fallopian tube, and in 2008 developed pelvic inflammatory disease.

In 2011 Mrs G tested positive for pregnancy which she reported to her GP.  She was concerned about the pregnancy because of her previous medical history.

A couple of days after seeing her GP Mrs G attended the Accident and Emergency department at Chase Farm Hospital to report abdominal pain and bleeding.

She gave a full medical history to A&E staff, as well as reporting that she had carried out two positive pregnancy tests.

She was discharged without being reviewed by a senior gynaecologist, and continued to bleed and experience pain.

Two days later she attended the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) for a further pregnancy test and a scan was booked for her.  

She continued to bleed, and experienced a new pain down her left leg, severe enough to make her visit her GP who raised concerns by telephoning Chase Farm Hospital. Mrs G requested an earlier scan from the EPU which was refused.

Mrs G’s pain eventually became so severe that she attended North Middlesex Hospital where an ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed and she underwent surgery to remove her left fallopian tube.  

Mrs G approached Emmalene to bring a claim for medical negligence against the Trust for failing to diagnose her ectopic pregnancy, given her medical history and positive pregnancy test results.

The Trust admitted failing in its duty of care towards Mrs G and made a significant offer of compensation.

Medical negligence solicitor Emmalene Bushnell said:

“Not only did the Trust fail to take into account my client’s medical history when she first attended A&E, but they also failed to follow their own guidelines by arranging for Mrs G to be reviewed by a senior gynaecologist.  

“Medical staff at the Trust should have suspected that Mrs G was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy and should have arranged an early review for her.”

“If my client had received appropriate care she could have avoided the loss of her remaining fallopian tube.

“Mrs G is pleased to have concluded this case and will use the compensation so that she and her husband can undergo IVF treatment.”