Our specialist solicitors have experience bringing compensation claims for women who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence. We understand that talking about personal injuries such as fertility, vaginal tears or incontinence can be extremely different. Many women feel embarrassed or ashamed. Our solicitors are passionate about helping women to talk about these injuries and secure compensation for them when the medical care has let them down. Not only are our solicitors passionate about helping women, but we are also determined to raise awareness of the injuries suffered which women feel too embarrassed to discuss.
Women’s Birth Injuries
Having a baby can be the most exciting and wonderful experience in your life. However, for many women, physical and psychiatric injuries are a side effect of childbirth. We trust in doctors and midwives to take care of us, but sometimes errors made during or after birth can result in serious injuries for mothers.
Many women will accept that they might get a vaginal tear and suffer with some incontinence during pregnancy and birth. However, the severity of these injuries can vary widely. Most of the problems are treatable but the recovery will depend on the treatment given at the time. If treatment isn’t correct or delayed, then these are the sort of injuries that might be suffered:
- Infection and pain;
- Bowel incontinence (passing stools without control) which can lead to the need for a stoma;
- Uncontrolled passing wind;
- A hole (fistula) developing between the vagina and anus requiring repair surgeries;
- Fear, anxiety and psychological injury.
With vaginal tears in particular, it is really important that the extent of the tear is identified and repaired properly at the time. Unfortunately, sometimes the extent of the tear is missed by the midwife and/or doctor or the repair is not done correctly.
At Bolt Burdon Kemp, we have a number of solicitors devoted to assisting women who have suffered traumatic injury through childbirth as a result of medical negligence. If you think that your tear wasn’t correctly identified or treated you may be able to bring a medical negligence claim against the hospital or doctor who treated you.
The aim in a medical negligence claim is to get you the financial compensation you need to ensure you have access to medical and rehabilitation services both now and in the future. By doing so, this can help maximise your recovery and allow you to focus on and enjoy your newborn baby.
Birthrights champions respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth by protecting human rights. They provide advice and information on legal rights, train doctors and midwives and campaign to change maternity policy and systems. We are one of their legal partners and are proud to support their work.
Being diagnosed with gynaecological cancer at any age can be life changing. On the rare occasions when medical professionals are found to have let women down and a gynaecological cancer diagnosis is negligently delayed, there can be the most catastrophic consequences.
Treatment for cancer will depend on how advanced the cancer is when it is diagnosed. It is recognised that generally the earlier the cancer diagnosis, the better. Delayed diagnosis as a result of medical negligence can result in the need for much more invasive treatment. Tragically in some cases, it can also result in a reduction in life expectancy.
Gynaecological cancers include:
We have a devoted team of solicitors who would can help you to investigate a medical negligence claim for compensation if your cancer diagnosis and treatment was negligently delayed.
As well as being injured as a result of childbirth and misdiagnosis of cancer, women can also suffer life changing gynaecological injuries as a result of substandard care provided by their GP or treating gynaecologist. Any gynaecological injury can be life changing and at Bolt Burdon Kemp we want to help you to get the compensation you deserve to try to get your life back on track.
Examples of other gynaecological injuries include:
- Prolapse surgical errors;
- Vaginal Mesh, TVT and other mesh devices;
- Hysterectomy surgical errors or mismanagement;
- Errors with sterilisation;
- Delayed diagnosis or mismanagement of menopause;
- Surgical errors or negligent hospital treatment resulting in urinary incontinence;
- Mismanagement or delayed diagnosis of endometriosis;
- Mismanagement or delayed diagnosis of Ectopic pregnancy.
Injuries impacting Fertility
Suffering an injury which affects your fertility is completely devastating. When it has been caused by medical negligence, this adds another level to the hurt suffered.
Fertility injuries can vary widely and can be affected by a number of different health problems. Here are some examples we have come across as a result of medical negligence:
- Delayed diagnosis of Cervical Cancer, Womb Cancer and Ovarian Cancer leading to treatment which effects fertility (such as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy);
- Delayed diagnosis of other cancers such as Breast Cancer leading to treatment which effects fertility (such as chemotherapy);
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy;
- Unnecessary hysterectomy (removal of womb and ovaries);
- Mismanagement of pelvic infections leading to injuries to reproductive organs;
- Injuries following childbirth such as mismanagement of post partum haemorrhages;
- Negligent injuries following childbirth resulting in the need for c sections in future.
Our specialist women’s health solicitors understand that any impact on fertility is life changing. If you have received substandard medical treatment which has impacted on your fertility, our solicitors will fight to get you the compensation you need to explore other fertility options.
It may be that as a result of the injury you will need assistance in conceiving (such as IVF treatment) or you may need a surrogate to carry your child. You may also need to look at egg donors or egg harvesting and freezing your eggs for the future if you are not ready to have children. Many of these procedures are physically and emotionally exhausting and also very expensive. If the expense has been brought about by medical negligence, the costs of these treatments can be included as part of your compensation claim
Whilst we cannot change what has happened, we can help to get the compensation you need to carry on with the family and future you want.
Our solicitors have been able to secure compensation for our clients who have suffered these types of injuries, for example:
- Securing compensation for a woman who suffered with both anal sphincters tears when giving birth by instrumental delivery in 2017. Both tears were negligently missed and the consequences of this error meant that our client suffered with severe faecal incontinence and an abnormal opening between the vagina and rectum. Our client was then fitted with a stoma and underwent several unsuccessful surgical repairs. It wasn’t until 2022 that it was decided that no more repair attempts could be justified and as a result our client would live with a permanent stoma. The Defendant NHS Trust admitted full responsibility early on in the proceedings and this allowed our client to receive the interim funding needed to source equipment, support and more suitable accommodation that would allow her to better manage her symptoms and improve her quality of life. In 2023, the parties came together and agreed a £2.2 million settlement. Life looks very different to the one our client and her young family envisaged in 2017. However, she is now reassured that whatever life holds, she has the financial security to manage the relatives of her lifelong condition.
- Securing compensation for a woman who suffered a negligently performed episiotomy. Our client needed to have repair surgery and as a result of this she would need to have a Caesarean section to have children in the future. Our specialist solicitors were able to secure compensation for the cost of Caesarean sections on a private paying basis.
- We fought for the family of a women who tragically lost her life as a result of a negligent delay in diagnosis of breast cancer. The Hospital who missed the opportunity to detect the cancer earlier fought the compensation claim for several years before our solicitors were able to secure a settlement for the family. The claim settled for £90,000.
- Helping a woman bring a claim following a delayed diagnosis in cervical cancer. This delay meant that the lady’s fertility had been impacted and she wouldn’t be able to conceive or carry a baby in her womb. Our specialist solicitors worked hard to investigate alternative fertility options and secured the woman a significant settlement of compensation so she could have children through surrogacy. We secured a six figure sum of compensation for our client.
- Acting for several clients against a Consultant Gynaecologist under investigation for harm to over 200 patients, most of which have now settled. Injuries to these women involved amongst others negligently performed prolapse repair surgeries, incorrect removal of ovaries and failure to identify and treat cervical and ovarian cancer.
- Acting for a mother suffering from physical and significant psychiatric injuries as a result of a negligently managed birth resulting in avoidable injuries to the mother and her baby. This claim included future costs for private midwife treatment for future births and private caesarean section costs as well as assisting with psychiatric treatment.
- Securing compensation for a client who underwent a negligent TVT procedure under Rod Irvine, disgraced gynaecologist, when it was contraindicated to do so. There was also a failure to perform urodynamics testing beforehand which would have negated the need for the surgery. Our client suffered from significantly worse urinary incontinence symptoms which would be permanent and had a deliberating impact on her day to day life.
- We fought for our client who has suffered a fourth degree vaginal tear during childbirth which was negligently missed during repair. Out client suffered bowel incontinence and required a stoma to be fitted. This claim included future medical treatment to help our client make the best possible recover, as well as a large claim for the psychiatric injury she suffered as a result of the physical injuries she incurred.
- Our client sadly suffered a miscarriage and had to undergo a surgical procedure. During this operation her uterus was pierced which caused internal bleeding. She then had to undergo open surgery to repair the damage which resulted in abdominal scarring. The surgery also left her with extensive internal adhesions which tragically left her only able to conceive through IVF. Our client continues to suffer from pain which greatly restricts her day to day life. She also suffered a significant psychiatric injury and has required counselling. She is also at risk of further gynaecological complications. Her employment is affected and she required adaptations to her home. The claim successfully settled for £350,000.
- Our client was referred to a private gynaecologist after a single episode of post-menstrual bleeding. She had no other symptoms. An ultrasound and laparoscopy was performed. She was found to have adhesions to her left ovary and uterus, and a fibroid on one of her ovaries. She underwent a total hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries despite a registrar’s opinion that it was not needed. The surgery was performed as an open procedure rather than by keyhole. She also suffered from an incisional hernia which had to be repaired in a further procedure. In summary, our client underwent three unnecessary operations which resulted in physical and psychiatric injuries. The gynaecologist was subject to a GMC investigation and now works subject to a number of conditions. The claim successfully settled for £48,500.
- Ms E. developed immune thrombocytopenic purpura (dangerously low platelet count) during her first pregnancy, but it wasn’t identified until she went into labour and had been given an epidural, which meant that there was a substantial risk of epidural haematoma (internal bleeding into the spine) and permanent paralysis. After the birth, she reported loss of sensation in her legs and had to undergo an MRI scan. Ms E developed psychiatric injuries as a result. The hospital accepted responsibility and the case was settled for £40,000.