Ectopic pregnancy and medical negligence: Mary’s story

Medical negligence case study: Ectopic pregnancy

Mary and her husband were trying for their second child. Mary started to suffer some abdominal pain and bleeding. She conducted a home pregnancy test which proved positive and presented to her G.P.  The G.P. organised antenatal investigations including B hCG and ultrasound examination.

The ultrasound showed a lesion which was suggestive of an ectopic pregnancy in the right fallopian tube. The radiologist contacted the G.P. and advised the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.

The G.P. did not refer Mary to the early pregnancy unit at the local hospital or to an obstetrician presumably because the ultrasound did not show a live foetal pole. Serial B hCG levels did not increase and he thought that the ectopic had resolved spontaneously. He recommended Buscopan for cramps and Panadol and Nurofen for managing abdominal pain. Mary presented on a number of occasions thereafter complaining of increased symptoms but was told to continue with the expectant treatment.

A little less than 4 weeks after the first consultation Mary was admitted to the local hospital with excruciating pain and significant bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed with a 5.3 cm mass and emergency surgery became necessary. A right salpingectomy was performed and Mary lost her right fallopian tube.

With the assistance of the Law Office of Conrad Curry, Mary took proceedings against her G.P. because earlier referral would have meant she could have been administered Methotrexate to resolve the ectopic pregnancy and avoided a life-threatening trauma, the pain and inconvenience of the symptoms as the result of the delayed diagnosis and the invasive procedure. She lost that opportunity. She suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which among other things affected her capacity to work and her mental capacity to conceive naturally.

Mary resolved her proceedings for a substantial amount of money enabling among other things the conception of her second child through IVF.

The Law Office of Conrad Curry is passionate in ensuring that women and their families receive appropriate treatment during their pregnancy.

If you have been a victim or suffered loss as a result of medical negligence, call us today to speak to our friendly team.

Methotrexate: Julie’s story

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