Young mother, Helen undergoes further surgery after hospital failed to remove ectopic pregnancy
Whilst on holiday, our customer Helen* started suffering from menstrual migraines. She took paracetamol to help and thankfully after a couple of days they had disappeared.
Upon returning home, Helen visited her GP to discuss her migraines and menstrual bleeding. She was given tranexamic acid and migraleve. Unfortunately, she went home still feeling unwell and suffering from some memory loss. She chose to book another appointment and was scheduled to be seen two days later.
The following day, Helen took a home pregnancy test which came back positive and revealed she was one to two weeks pregnant. She then returned to her GP practice and was asked to take a pregnancy test. However, this came back as negative and her GP advise she probably had a miscarriage and to stop taking tranexamic acid. She was advised to return to the GP if her bleeding persisted.
The next day Helen took another home pregnancy test, this again came back positive. She also took a test the day after that, which came back as positive.
Helen returned to her GP and advised the bleeding had subsided but she was feeling poorly. The GP referred her to be seen by the hospital.
A few days later, Helen was examined by a nurse at the hospital; she took a pregnancy test which came back as positive. Helen was then sent for an ultrasound scan; however, they were unable to see anything. A doctor who diagnosed her with an unknown pregnancy and a blood test was taken which showed her HCG levels at 126.
Several days later Helen took another pregnancy test which came back positive. She also received a call from the hospital asking her to come back in the next day. Unfortunately, her appointment was later cancelled and rescheduled to take place in a few days’ time.
At her hospital appointment, more blood tests were carried out and Helen underwent an internal scan. The hospital staff were unable to see anything on the scan and she was told her HCG levels were increasing. It was advised that Helen would need to keep coming into hospital to have her blood taken regularly.
Over the next week, Helen underwent several blood tests, travelling back and forth to the hospital. She was advised her HCG levels were still rising, but not to the extent of a normal pregnancy.
At one appointment for her blood to be tested again, doctors advised her HCG levels were still rising and they had spotted something on her scan, this was classed as an unidentified pregnancy. Helen was advised not to go on holiday and that she would be booked for keyhole surgery the following day.
The next day Helen underwent a removal of an ectopic pregnancy under general anaesthetic. When she awoke from the surgery, she was informed the surgeon couldn’t see an ectopic pregnancy and everything looked fine. She was then discharged from hospital the same day.
When Helen returned home she was in a lot of pain, with the whole right side in agony. She had been given painkillers and tried to sleep but was unable to because of the pain.
A gynaecologist from the hospital called Helen the following day and said she needed to return as an ectopic pregnancy had been found on the notes and she would need further surgery.
Helen attended the hospital where she was seen by the gynaecologist and the surgeon who’d operated on her. They showed her images of the ectopic pregnancy and told her she would need more surgery.
Several days later, after waiting the whole day at the hospital, Helen had the surgery in the evening. She was discharged the next day and later received a letter in the post from the hospital with a summary of the events.
Helen was informed her chances of a successful pregnancy remains high, however, she will need early scans in any future pregnancies. Thankfully, Helen is no longer in pain and her bleeding has stopped, however it took a while for her to recover and she needed to see a counsellor due to the traumatic experience.
We investigated Helen’s claim and the hospital trust admitted there was a failure to identify and remove the ectopic pregnancy during Helen’s original procedure. Therefore she needed to undergo a second procedure under general anaesthetic.
We successfully settled Helen’s claim for £6250, Sophia Azam, a solicitor within our medical negligence department, handled Helen’s case and said, “I am pleased that we were able to assist Helen in this matter and conclude her case within 8 months. She is due to give birth very shortly and we wish her all the best for the future.”
*Helen’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
Key case timeline
The hospital failed to identify and remove Helen's ectopic pregnancy during a procedure. This meant she needed to undergo a second procedure under general anaesthetic.
Helen's case settled for £6250.
We investigated Helen's case and the hospital admitted their failure to identify and remove the ectopic pregnancy. We settled and concluded Helen's case in just 8 months.
Thankfully, Helen's changes of a successful pregnancy remained high and she is now due to give birth very shortly.