An ectopic pregnancy can have serious consequences and impact upon the woman’s future fertility if it is not diagnosed and treated promptly.
When symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are presented... a doctor can be negligent in number of ways, such as:
If a doctor does diagnose an ectopic pregnancy:
An ectopic pregnancy must be promptly diagnosed to prevent serious complications, which could affect longer term health, fertility or even cause a fatal injury.
A doctor, specialist or other clinicians involved in your diagnosis owe you ‘a duty of care’ to interpret the symptoms correctly and ensure that you get the right treatment.
If at any stage a mistake is made in diagnosis, the wrong course of treatment administered or the standard of care fell below what is appropriate , then you may have a medical negligence case.
The highest degree of sensitivity and understanding
If a patient feels that they have been let down by a health professional, it can be difficult for them to place their trust in a legal professional. We at Your Legal Friend recognise that Clinical negligence cases can be emotional and therefore need a degree of sensitivity and understanding from specialist lawyers throughout the legal process.
Reaching a decision to make a civil claim for clinical negligence is never easy our team of both male and female lawyers can offer understanding and expert guidance to help you succeed in making your case.
Your Legal Friend has many years of experience in resolving clinical negligence cases. Our specialist knowledge of both legal and medical issues together with a sensitive awareness of how everyone involved is affected means we can help you:
- are older
- have previously had multiple pregnancies
- are non-white (UBM)
The term ectopic means “misplaced” and refers to a pregnancy that occurs outside of the womb.
The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy to occur outside of the womb is within the fallopian tubes (although it can occur elsewhere in the body), which means the baby cannot be saved.
Why does ectopic pregnancy happen?
It is perfectly possible for a women to have an ectopic pregnancy despite no known causes being identified.
However, the potential for an ectopic pregnancy are thought to be increased by a number of known risk factors, as follows:
– caused by infection, previous surgery or previous ectopic pregnancy
As a result, the fertilised egg has slowed down and implanted itself before reaching the womb.
If you recognise yourself as having any of the above risk factors...
Tests to detect pregnancy as early as 7-8 days after fertilisation should have been carried out by your doctor. Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are most likely to show between the fifth and tenth weeks of pregnancy and a doctor should be reasonably expected to have made a diagnosis during this time frame.
What are the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy?
Symptoms can develop at any time between week 4 and 10 of pregnancy.
A key difficulty in identifying an ectopic pregnancy is where there are no obvious signs or symptoms and the woman may not even be aware that she is pregnant.
A common mistake is that the symptoms are interpreted as just a late period.
The most common symptoms are:
How is ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?
A doctor should be aware that it can be difficult to diagnose ectopic pregnancy. Therefore, it should be reasonable and appropriate for the following action to have been carried out:
Tests which should have been arranged to have taken place in a hospital:
The fertilised egg will continue to grow outside of the womb. Complications can follow and eventually lead to the rupture of the fallopian tube resulting in heavy, and potentially fatal, internal bleeding.
What happens if an ectopic pregnancy is confirmed?
While there is no real alternative for an ectopic pregnancy other than termination of the pregnancy, a doctor should discuss with you the following possible options:
- remove the ectopic pregnancy from the tube and leave the tube behind.
You may have grounds for a claiming clinical negligence if you experienced any of the following while undergoing assessment, diagnosis, treatment or care during your ectopic pregnancy:
As experienced clinical negligence specialists, we know that you will want to find out why your GP or doctor failed you or a family member in their duty to provide the expected standard of care and treatment in the diagnosis and treatment of an ectopic pregnancy.
We are committed to ensuring victims of clinical negligence obtain the answers and receive the compensation they deserve, which could prevent others from suffering in a similar way.