Failure to Diagnose Ectopic Pregnancy

Guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the Management of Tubal Pregnancy and the Management of Early Pregnancy Loss stats that in the management of a pregnancy of an unknown location, as part of the initial assessment, a serum hCG assay teat should be taken. The guidelines state that serial serum hCG assay is particularly useful in diagnosing an asymptomatic ectopic pregnancy. If the guidelines are not followed this can delay the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy which can result in the treatment being more invasive including the removal of a fallopian tube and reduced fertility.

Solicitors and Judges use the Judicial Guidelines (JSB) when valuing a claim, as well as recent case law.

The most recent JSB is the 14th Edition which states under “Injuries to internal organs” where there is a delay in diagnosing Ectopic Pregnancy but fertility if not affected the award will depend on the extent of the pain, suffering, bleeding, whether a blood transfusion is required, whether there is an anxiety, an adjustment disorder and whether there is any requirement for the removal of a fallopian tube(s).

The payments in this instance vary greatly from £2,970 to £17,910.

Not many cases are reported to have settled at Court, rather they settle out of court between the parties. Most of those cases received an award between £8,190 and £36,550 (as a result of infertility).

In addition to an award injury as a result of the removal of the fallopian tube(s) you have the additional psychological trauma caused, this will attract an increased award to take into account the additional trauma and any ongoing psychological distress.

These award also vary greatly from £7,170 to £20,290 for a claim for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, people can suffer adjustment disorders and they are valued on a different scale.

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