Ectopic Pregnancy Compensation Claims
If you have suffered an ectopic pregnancy that was either misdiagnosed of managed poorly by healthcare professionals, you could be entitled to claim compensation. To find out if you have a valid claim, contact a medical negligence solicitor today for a free case assessment. Call free on 0800 678 1410 or click here to request a call back.
What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb. The implantation most often occurs in one of the fallopian tubes, and this can be excruciatingly painful and very dangerous for the mother.
It is not possible for the pregnancy to continue in these circumstances and the woman’s health could be jeopardised if the pregnancy continues. The implanted egg normally has to be removed by surgery or through taking medicine
Ectopic pregnancies do not always present symptoms, and so the complication may not become apparent until it is revealed during a routine pregnancy scan. However, symptoms are often displayed between the fourth and twelfth week of pregnancy and can include:
- Pregnancy-related symptoms such as a missed period, bloating and cramps
- Pains in the tummy, low down and normally on one side
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shoulder tip pain
- Discomfort when using the toilet
- Pain in the back
These symptoms do not automatically mean that a pregnancy is ectopic and so there is no need for immediate concern, but any such symptoms should be checked by a medical practitioner to be safe.
How is an ectopic pregnancy treated?
Swift treatment is necessary for an ectopic pregnancy to preserve the health of the mother and minimise any additional risks. There are three main ways that an ectopic pregnancy is treated. They are:
- Expectant Management: The patient is monitored closely and if the fertilised egg does not dissolve on its own, one of the treatments below are employed
- Medication: In order to stop the pregnancy from growing, which can have severe health implications for the patient, a powerful medicine called methotrexate is injected into the patient.
- Surgery: Keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) may be performed under a general anaesthetic, and this is used to remove the fertilised egg. In many cases, the affected fallopian tube is also removed.
The doctor has a legal obligation to inform the patient about the benefits and risks involved in each option. In the majority of cases, the doctor will recommend the most suitable treatment based on individual circumstances and in response to the test results of the individual patient.
Some treatments may have a negative impact on the chances of conceiving or carrying a pregnancy safely in the future, and so it is vital that the doctor provides a thorough explanation of the potential effects of any procedure that you undertake.
Eligibility for Making an Ectopic Pregnancy Claim
Although an ectopic pregnancy occurs naturally and is unlikely to be the result of a medical error, the way in which you are treated when you present symptoms to a doctor will determine your eligibility for making a claim for compensation.
An untreated ectopic pregnancy can have severe impacts on the health of the patient and can even prove to be fatal. It is therefore vital that the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed as quickly as possible. If substandard medical care is received, the pain, suffering and potentially permanent damage risks increase significantly. An ectopic pregnancy will be considered as having been dealt with neglectfully if the patient:
- Presents symptoms that are consistent with an ectopic pregnancy but further tests and investigations are not carried out.
- If symptoms are present but a correct diagnosis is not made
- If a routine scan is conducted and fails to find a foetus in the womb but no additional tests are carried out
- If scan and test results are not read properly, and adequate diagnosis and treatment are not subsequently provided.
If an ectopic pregnancy is not swiftly and correctly diagnosed and treatment is not given, the patient is at risk of sustaining a serious injury. Severe and extensive damage to the fallopian tube can cause difficulties in future conception and a fallopian tube that splits or ruptures will lead to internal bleeding, potential infection and even death.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation that is awarded to you will greatly depend upon the level of suffering caused to you through the medical neglect. If it can be proven that you were treated neglectfully or in breach of the medical profession’s duty of care to you and this has resulted in harm or a negative impact to you, it is likely that you will be successful in making a claim for compensation.
Your solicitor will work hard to establish all areas of suffering and loss in order to secure you the highest compensation award possible. In their negotiations for your settlement, the solicitor will include considerations such as:
- The physical pain caused to you through the medical neglect
- The emotional damage that you have sustained, including your potential lack of confidence in future care
- Any loss of earnings that you have suffered through not being able to work as a result of the medical error
- Any ongoing, long term or permanent damage or pain that you are suffering from
- Cost of treatment, both previous and future
- Any impact on your future conception probability
- The impact that your condition may have had on your family or ability to function in normal daily activities.
For a free consultation, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your detail below to arrange a call back. A friendly legal adviser will call you back to discuss your case and determine your eligibility to make a claim for compensation and offer guidance on the potential compensation that you could receive.