A woman, who was found to be fourteen weeks pregnant during a hysterectomy procedure, has successfully made a claim for gynaecological negligence compensation against the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
The unnamed woman underwent the hysterectomy procedure in November 2007, during which it was discovered that she was fourteen weeks pregnant. The procedure had been allowed to continue despite the consultant gynaecologist noticing that the patient´s uterus was “abnormally large” but, by the time the foetus had been discovered, the woman´s cervix had been removed and a continuation of the pregnancy was unviable.
The woman made her claim for gynaecological negligence compensation on the grounds that the avoidable termination of the foetus prevented her and her partner from having the son they longed for and, although she had sustained no physical injury due to the error, both she and her partner had suffered a significant emotional trauma when the consultant´s negligence had been revealed to them. She claimed that, had she known she was pregnant at the time of the hysterectomy operation, she would not have gone ahead with the procedure.
Following an investigation into the tragedy, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust admitted that an “inadvertent termination” had taken place and acknowledged their liability in the patient´s gynaecological negligence compensation claim. After negotiations with the woman´s lawyers, an out-of-court settlement of £62.000 in gynaecological negligence compensation was agreed upon.