A woman, who was discovered fourteen weeks pregnant during a hysterectomy procedure, has successfully made a claim for hysterectomy negligence following inadvertent termination compensation against the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
The unnamed woman had the hysterectomy procedure carried out in November 2007, during which it was found that she was fourteen weeks pregnant. The procedure had been allowed to go ahead despite the consultant gynaecologist noticing that the patient´s uterus was “abnormally large” but, by the time the foetus had been seen, the woman´s cervix had been removed and a continuation of the pregnancy not possible anymore.
The woman made her claim for hysterectomy negligence compensation following termination on the grounds that the avoidable termination of the foetus denied her and her partner the chance to have the son they longed for and, although she had sustained no physical harm due to the error, both she and her partner had suffered a significant emotional distress when the consultant´s negligence had been shown to them. She alleged that, had she known she was with child at the time of the hysterectomy operation, she would not have proceeded with the procedure.
Having conducted an inquiry into the tragedy, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust admitted that an “inadvertent termination” had taken place and accepted their liability in the patient´s gynaecological negligence compensation claim. After negotiations with the woman´s legal representatives, an out-of-court settlement of £62.000 in gynaecological negligence compensation was agreed upon.