Woman had two contraceptive coils fitted at the same time
A woman who for many years suffered with unexplained stomach pains, hair loss, tiredness and other symptoms was astonished to discover that due to an error by a gynaecologist, she had two contraceptive coils fitted at the same time.
Many years ago, she had a contraceptive coil fitted. Five years later it needed changing but instead of replacing the old coil, a gynaecologist mistakenly fitted a new coil leaving the old one still in place.
Thereafter, the woman experienced ongoing medical issues. She underwent various tests but there was no apparent cause for her problems. At that stage, she still had no idea she had two coils fitted.
Another five years passed before she attended a different gynaecologist for a further change of coil only to discover that she already had two contraceptive coils fitted. That gynaecologist removed both existing devices and replaced them with a new one.
Although this led to a reduction to some of the woman’s unexplained symptoms, such was her ongoing discomfort with the newly fitted coil that she had no option but for it to be permanently removed.
“Clearly, there was a fundamental error on the part of the original gynaecologist in failing to remove the existing contraceptive coil before fitting a new one.”
Robert Barker, Head of Medical Negligence, MR Law
Robert Barker, head of the Medical Negligence team at M R Law who dealt with the case comments:
“Clearly, there was a fundamental error on the part of the original gynaecologist in failing to remove the existing contraceptive coil before fitting a new one although our client was unaware of that. She then suffered years of unexplained symptoms and it only became apparent some time after the error by the gynaecologist the possible reason for her health problems.
This was an interesting case legally. The usual rule is that a Claimant must commence litigation within three years of the negligent treatment.
However, there is a second element in that a Claimant can also commence litigation within three years from the date of knowledge, namely when they first became aware of the alleged negligence.
Although the error happened many years ago, our client only recently became aware of the possible reason for her ongoing problems.
Consequently, she was still well within the period for bringing a claim. That meant she was able to continue with the claim, however we still had to prove that her symptoms arose due to the negligent treatment and that is not always straightforward.
Thankfully, we were able to demonstrate that at least some of our client’s symptoms arose because she had two coils fitted and we were able to reach a satisfactory settlement with the other party.”
If you have suffered complications arising from any gynaecological treatment, please contact our specialist medical negligence team to speak directly to a qualified and experienced lawyer.