Female: 28 years old at date of accident; 32 years old at date of settlement.
Clinical Negligence: On January 7, 2008 the claimant (C) attended a hospital of the defendant trust (D) and was advised that she was having an ectopic pregnancy. She was told that she required urgent surgery and underwent a salpingectomy, which involved the removal of the right fallopian tube. D's ectopic pregnancy guidelines stated that patients undergoing surgery should be fully consented for a salpingotomy and salpingectomy. C claimed that she had been extremely anxious to conserve the fallopian tube and had asked if there was any way it could be conserved, but was advised there was not.
C sustained injury and brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in failing to advise her of the option of a salpingotomy instead of a salpingectomy, which would have preserved the right fallopian tube.
C lost her right fallopian tube and experienced considerable distress and anxiety. She suffered from recurring nightmares about visiting medical professionals and having parts of her body removed and she also suffered from depression.
Removal of the right fallopian tube through a salpingectomy, rather than a salpingotomy, meant that C's chances of a future ectopic pregnancy were reduced. C's expert advised that there was a reduced chance of future pregnancy by undergoing a salpingectomy rather than a salpingotomy, although C did go on to have two children. C's psychiatrist advised that she might suffer further psychological distress if she underwent any future gynaecological procedure.
Out of Court Settlement
£5,000 total damages
Background to damages
Liability was denied on the basis that C had properly consented to the procedure and had opted for a salpingectomy rather than a salpingotomy, although the signed consent form made no reference to a salpingotomy.
The case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by the claimant's solicitors:
Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £4,750.
Breakdown of Special Damages: Past loss of earnings: £250
Ectopic pregnancy - failure to advise of option of salpingotomy instead of salpingectomy
LTLP1 23/11/2012 (Unreported elsewhere)
This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Daniel O'Keeffe, solicitor for the claimant.