Gynaecology / Women’s Problems
Our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors have the expertise to help you succeed in a medical negligence claim for compensation if you have suffered from poor gynaecology care.
Compensation can be claimed where there has been inappropriate advice given concerning treatment options and the risks and benefits of the various options, where there have been excessive delays in providing you with treatment, or where there has been substandard surgical care that amounts to actual Medical Negligence.
Do contact our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors. We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, you do not have to worry about how you are going to afford to bring a compensation claim for failed sterilisation and vasectomy. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.
Information about Gynaecology
Gynaecology means the ‘science of women’ and relates to the health of their reproductive organs. Women require very specialist medical care for gynaecology issues.This is a large area of medical practice, and gynaecology is a large contributor to the area of medical negligence claims.
Various problems can occur during treatments, such as perforation of the womb during insertion of a coil, or during a pregnancy termination procedure. This can be repaired, but sometimes may lead to infertility.Issues of consent are important. Full advice should be given about the removal of pelvic organs and proper signed consent should be taken for a surgical procedure. For example, during a hysterectomy procedure to remove the womb, it would be wrong to also remove the ovaries unless a lady has been advised about this and has given written consent.
Information about Sterilisation
Sterilisations are commonly successful, but these procedures tend to be left to more junior doctors. It is not uncommon for a junior surgeon to mistake surrounding tissues for the fallopian tube. This can lead to the sterilisation clip being applied to a ligament, instead of the fallopian tube. This inevitably leads to an unplanned pregnancy, usually within 12 months of the surgery. Usually, if a pregnancy occurs later than a 12-18 month period, then this will be down to bad luck, rather than surgical error, as sometimes, the fallopian tube can regenerate itself by forming a tube around the clip and finding it’s way back to the ovary (‘tubal lumen regeneration’).
If treatment goes wrong in sterilisation, there are various claims that may result:
Wrongful conception: In addition, an action in contract may also arise if the sterilisation procedure was performed outside the NHS in the private sector.
Negligence: A breach of duty arises when an operation is not carried out in accordance with practice accepted as proper by a reasonable body of gynaecologists (Bolam test). Negligence also occurs when there is omission in appropriate pre-operative counselling.
Wrongful birth: The negligent act deprived the mother of the possibility to prevent the conception of a disabled child or to have a lawful abortion.
Women are entitled to recover general damages for pain and suffering during pregnancy and delivery, and loss of earnings during pregnancy. However, a 2000 court judgement held that the costs of bringing up a healthy child, or loss of earnings because of child-rearing responsibilities, are not recoverable (McFarlane v Tayside Health Board). Although, a case for compensation for the costs of bringing up a healthy child was upheld in the case where the mother was disabled (Rees v Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust 2002) as this parent was not in the same position as able-bodied parents. However, there is a sum that is allowed to reflect the loss of the family’s opportunity to live life in the way that had been planned prior to the pregnancy. If a women is proven to suffer from a psychiatric disorder, caused by the pregnancy itself, that continues to prevent her from working after the pregnancy, then a loss of future earnings claim may be permitted.
Compensation that is limited to the special upbringing costs associated with rearing a child with a serious disability is allowed (Parkinson vSt James’s & Seacroft University Hospital Trust 2001, Salih v Enfield Health Authority 1991). Both parents can claim for shock and distress on discovering the child’s condition as disabled, and the increased stress in bringing up the child. They can claim for lost earnings for bringing up the child, which they would not have lost had the child been healthy (McLelland
Both parents can claim for shock and distress on discovering the child’s condition as disabled, and the increased stress in bringing up the child. They can claim for lost earnings for bringing up the child, which they would not have lost had the child been healthy (McLelland v Greater Glasgow Health Board 2001). Furthermore, parents that chose sterilisation to avoid the risk of a child with congenital abnormalities can recover the costs associated with the child’s disabilities, even though the disabilities had not been caused by the clinician’s negligent sterilisation.
In addition, parents that chose sterilisation to avoid the risk of a child with congenital abnormalities can recover the costs associated with the child’s disabilities, even though the disabilities had not been caused by the clinician’s negligent sterilisation.
Examples of Successful Medical Negligence Claims in Gynaecology Cases
- £400,000 to a lady whose bowel and womb were perforated during a termination of pregnancy, leading to infection and further major surgery to remove part of her bowel
- £245,000 to a lady who was given various options to treat irregular periods but decided on surgery to shrink the fibroid in her womb. The hospital failed to warn her about the potential complications of the operation. Had she known she would have opted instead for non-surgical treatment. The surgery was a disaster and her womb was torn
- £76,250 for a lady who suffered a rare clotting disorder about which the hospital was aware prior to surgery. Anti-clotting drugs were not given during hysterectomy surgery leading to blood clots blocking arteries and permanent lung damage
Follow our links below to quickly access our information pages about how we can help with a complaint about care, funding a medical negligence gynaecology claim and more:
- defining your needs after poor medical care
- complaining about care
- Inquests into a death
- funding a medical negligence claim
- Conditional fee agreements
- Time limits
- How are claims settled?
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