Gynaecology Compensation Claims
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Gynaecology claims deal with the problems that occur with the female reproductive system when an acceptable standard of care is not given by medical staff. This can cause problems which may have a devastating effect on your life.
The female reproductive system is a very complex piece of biology, and any medical treatment given must involve the utmost care. Diagnosis and treatment of ailments needs to be prompt, as any delays can have serious consequences.
Common problems and complications that may arise include:
- Perforation of the uterus, bowel or bladder during surgery
- Failure to diagnose or treat a condition leading to infertility/hysterectomy
- Failed contraception/abortion/sterilisation
- Improper prescription of an oral contraceptive causing thrombosis or any other harmful side effects
- Failure to detect a haemorrhage or ovarian/cervical cancer
- Treatment of prolapse
- Inappropriate treatment of a uterine fibroid infection
AUDREY HAD KEYHOLE SURGERY TO REMOVE ENDOMETRIOSIS BUT THE SURGEON MADE A MISTAKE IN CAUTERISING THE BLOOD VESSELS AND INJURED HER URETER.
Audrey had keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) to remove endometriosis. The surgeon made a mistake in cauterising the blood vessels (using heat to stop the bleeding) and injured her ureter. The tissue around the ureter broke down and became necrotic (i.e. died). She developed a rectovaginal fistula (a hole between the rectum and vagina). As a result she needed a permanent colostomy.
What Happened Next?
The colostomy was very disabling. It is unsightly and can be noisy and smelly. The stoma bag leaks from time to time. She found it awkward to attend social events and use buses, trains and planes. She tends to avoid socializing and rarely goes on holiday. She is married but avoids sex.
The claim was difficult and there was a risk that it would fail at trial. It was settled by negotiation and she recovered damages of £125,000.
All names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals
The Rob Jones Group Action
In 2012 the Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust (RCHT) published the results of an internal investigation into the actions of obstetrician and gynaecologist Robert K. Jones, a consultant at Treliske hospital. Mr Jones resigned from his position, and it emerged that there had been concerns about his performance as far back as the mid-1990s.
Once the investigation became public, it soon became clear that many women were experiencing symptoms, often bladder or bowel problems, that could be traced back to Mr Jones’ practice.
RCHT agreed to suspend the usual three-year claim time limit for all women treated by Mr Jones. Enable Law represented the majority of these women in a Group Action with around 70% of the cases ending with compensation being awarded. More importantly, the group action gave a voice to the women who had been so badly failed by their medical treatment and provided answers about how, and why, these failures had occurred.
Women's health issues
Part of the reason that gynaecological negligence happens is that medicine is largely based on the male physiology. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is taking steps to correct this imbalance, and you can read more on our dedicated page.