Medical Negligence News

Woman Compensated for Inadvertent Termination of Pregnancy

Posted on: December 19th, 2012 by Medical Negligence

A compensation settlement of £62,000 has been paid to a woman whose pregnancy was wrongfully terminated at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The woman, who has remained anonymous, underwent a hysterectomy at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in 2007 when it was noted during the procedure that she was fourteen weeks pregnant. However, during the operation her cervix had been abstracted, which meant that it was impossible for her pregnancy to continue.

An investigation was then launched into the incident, which uncovered that the consultant gynaecologist – Dr Rob Jones – decided to continue on with the hysterectomy despite noticing that his patient’s uterus was “abnormally large”. Dr Jones has since resigned from practice, but this did not prevent the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from investigating him after noting that there was a high rate of surgical complications in procedures that he was involved with.

The woman sought legal counsel, and subsequently made a claim for compensation against the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust for the negligence she suffered whilst a patient there. In her claim, she attested that, had she known that she was pregnant before going for the operation, she would have never gone through with the procedure. Despite being physically unharmed, she had undergone substantial emotional trauma because of the termination.

The Trust, who oversees the management of the hospital, admitted that there had been failings in the operation that resulted in an “inadvertent termination” of the woman’s pregnancy, and said that a diagnosis of pregnancy should have occurred at a point where is was still possible to allow the pregnancy to continue.

Out-of-court negotiations between the parties resulted in a settlement of £62,000 to be paid to the woman for the gynaecological negligence she suffered.