A woman has been awarded £63,000 in personal injury compensation following an ectopic pregnancy negligence lawsuit at the High Court.
Anne English (47) from Clonmel, County Tipperary, who was transferred between hospitals while in severe and continuous pain from her ectopic pregnancy,
She had been treated at the St Joseph’s Hospital, Clonmel, in 1996, with a suspected molar pregnancy – an unusual condition in which abnormal growth occurs instead of foetal tissue.
Anne was tended to by consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Raymond Howard, who dismissed the molar pregnancy and suggested that Anne was suffering from a condition known as acute retrocecal appendicitis. Dr Howard then arranged for Anne to be transferred to Our Lady’s Hospital, Cashel, for a surgical opinion.
However, as Mr Justice Sean Ryan at the High Court heard, Dr. Howard had missed Anne’s true condition which was a ectopic pregnancy – one in which the embryo implants outside of the womb – and, when the pregnancy finally ruptured while Anne was at Our Lady’s Hospital, she was returned to St Joseph´s Hospital by hospital despite the fact that she was bleeding heavily and being in a critical condition.
On Ann’s return, Dr Howard immediately sent her to the operating theatre, where anaesthetic measures had to be taken to resuscitate her and three litres of blood were removed from her peritoneal cavity. Despite recovering from the incident, Anne claimed she had been severely psychologically damaged by the incident and continues to suffer from it.
Finding Doctor Howard’s oversight 40 per cent liable for the injury, and the Health Service Executive 60 per cent liable for the injuries suffered by Anne, Mr Justice Sean Ryan announced a personal injury compensation award of £63,000 should be paid to Anne stating “The decision to transfer her from the Cashel Hospital to Clonmel in this state amounted to gross negligence”.