A young mum of two was left needing two further operations after surgeons failed to fully remove her placenta after a caesarean.
In 2010, after a routine check, Amy* was advised she may have two cervixes. She was sent for an ultrasound scan and ever since she has told she has either a bicornuate womb or uterus didelphys.
Around a year or two later, Amy had surgery to remove a vaginal septum which they felt was due to having uterus didelphys. After, Amy fell pregnant with her first child and went for another scan as her contraceptive implant was causing her to bleed. At this scan, it was confirmed that she had uterus didelphys.
During her pregnancy with her second child, Amy was told that her left womb wasn’t functioning or connected to anything. She was told her right womb was working correctly and that is where she had carried both of her children.
In May 2016, Amy went to hospital to have a planned caesarean for her second pregnancy; this was also her second caesarean. However, during the procedure, there were some complications as the surgeon had trouble removing the placenta. During the operation, Amy lost 400ml of blood.
Amy’s daughter was born completely healthy and she was informed everything was fine. She remained in hospital for two days, before being discharged home. Whilst recovering at home, Amy started to experience some vaginal bleeding, which she’d been told was to be expected.
Five weeks after the birth, however, Amy was still bleeding heavily and decided to visit her GP, who prescribed her mefenamic acid to stop the bleeding. Two weeks on she returned to her GP as the bleeding was still ongoing; as a result, she was referred for an ultrasound scan, which took place in July 2016.
A few days after the scan, Amy returned to her GP for the results, where she was told there was placenta tissue still left inside her from the caesarean. She was therefore referred to hospital as she would need surgery to remove the placenta.
The surgery took place the following day, under general anesthetic and 5cm of mass placenta tissue was removed. After a short time recovering, Amy was sent home to recover with a course of antibiotics.
Around a week later, Amy was still having persistent pains and bleeding, following the surgery. She was prescribed tranexamic acid to help stop the bleeding and given an appointment with her GP for two days later.
Two days on, the painkillers weren’t helping and Amy was unable to walk, she called the 111 NHS service instead of visiting her GP and referred to A&E. An ultrasound was carried out in hospital and it was discovered there was still 4.5cm of placenta left inside Amy, and she would need further surgery to remove it.
The following day the surgery was carried out and the placenta tissue was removed. Amy was still suffering pain in hospital but was discharged a few days later with pain relief and iron tablets. She was told it was potentially an infection causing the pain and was scheduled for a follow-up scan a week later.
During the follow-up ultrasound scan, it showed a further 2.5cm of placenta was still inside Amy. Due to the size, doctors advised this would pass normally on its own and she would have to wait for this to happen over time.
Amy had a further scan a few weeks layer which unfortunately revealed there was still 11cm of placenta tissue inside her and she was given a 7-day course of co-amoxiclav and booked in for another scan the week after. She was told if the co-amoxiclav didn’t work, she would be required to undergo surgery again, for the third time.
The course of co-amoxiclav was successful and at her follow-up appointment, Amy was told the placenta had now left her body.
Amy contacted Fletchers to look at bringing a medical negligence claim against the hospital. She had needed to undergo two unnecessary procedures to remove the retained placement. This left her suffering from abdominal pain and heavy bleeding for weeks. During this time she was unable to go out with her toddler and it affected the bonding with her new-born baby, as she was unable to devote all of her time to her.
We investigated Amy’s case and a breach of duty was admitted by the Defendant in relation to the failure to remove the placenta fully during the caesarean and the subsequent procedures Amy had to undergo.
In October 2017, Amy’s case settled for £7000, which we hopefully allow her to gain some closure and look towards the future, and spending time with her young children and husband.
Sophia and the team really helped me gain some closure to see that I shouldn’t just sit and accept the mistake the hospital made. It made me angry that for three months I was left in unnecessary pain and although the compensation doesn’t remove that pain it helps put an end to what should have been a happy chapter in my life. I can’t thank the team enough for the support and advice they gave me in making the choices I did.Amy, medical negligence victim
Sophia Azam, a solicitor within our medical negligence department, handled Amy’s case and said, “It is unfortunate that Amy was unable to enjoy the time with her newborn baby due to the problems she suffered. I am pleased that we were able to assist her in this matter and conclude her case within 15 months. She has mentioned using her compensation to purchase a car, which hopefully will be something for the whole family to look forward to. I wish her all the best for the future.”
*Disclaimer: Amy’s name has been changed to protect her identity.