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Woman, 20, Left Unable To Conceive Naturally Following Five-Day Delay To Remove Ovarian Cyst

Student Receives Six-Figure Settlement After Instructing Experts At Irwin Mitchell

19.02.2018

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A 20-year-old woman left unable to naturally conceive children after doctors waited five days before removing an ovarian cyst has received a six-figure settlement.

The woman has been left with no ovarian function and the effects of an early menopause following the error by New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.

The student had a medical history of ovarian cysts and had previously undergone surgery to remove her right ovary and fallopian tube in 2010.

When she started complaining of similar symptoms she was admitted to hospital. Despite pleading to be treated, there was a delay in diagnosing her condition. She underwent surgery five days after her admission.

Following the incident, the woman who does not want to be named, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received at the hands of Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs New Cross Hospital.

The Trust has agreed to pay the woman from Wolverhampton £165,000 after it admitted liability.

Expert Opinion
“Given her medical history of ovarian cysts, when our client started to experience severe abdominal pain she felt sure she was suffering from the same condition. However, despite repeated pleas from our client and her family, there was an unreasonable delay in diagnosing her condition and subsequently performing surgery.

“Our client has been left distraught by the fact that, although she voiced her concerns regarding her diagnosis, the hospital did not take her opinion on board. The result is that our client has been left almost certainly infertile due to lack of ovarian function and has been left with the effects of early menopause.

“It’s now vital that the NHS Trust ensures it puts measures in place to prevent a repeat of such incidents so no other women have to go through the pain and suffering that our client has experienced.”
Rosalie Reading, Associate Solicitor

The woman underwent surgery to remove her right ovary in 2010.

On 30 January, 2016, the then 18-year-old began to experience pain in her abdomen. Later that day her mum called an ambulance and she was taken to the accident and emergency department at New Cross Hospital. She was admitted the following day.  

When she was admitted the medical staff suspected her symptoms were connected to an ovarian cyst and transferred the woman to the gynaecological ward. 

However, no assessment of her pelvis was done and she was told she would have to wait for an ultrasound scan until after the weekend.

When the scan was eventually performed it showed a 9cm cyst.  Even after this was identified she was told they would now need to do an MRI scan, despite the woman and her family asking to be taking to surgery immediately due to her knowledge of what can happen and her worry about losing the ovary.  The MRI scan did not take place for another three days by which time the cyst had grown to 11cm.

On 5 February, 2016, she underwent an operation, including surgery to remove her left ovary and fallopian tube.

The trust accepted that had a senior review been performed on 31 January, 2016, emergency surgery would have been performed that same day and, on balance, the ovary would have been untwisted and been at least partly salvageable.

The woman put her degree course on hold while she attempted to come to terms with the effects of the surgery.

She said: “The last two years have been extremely difficult for me and my family as a result of failures by New Cross Hospital.

“The hardest thing to come to terms with is that I will not be able to conceive children naturally. I had always planned to have children but now my plans have changed in so many ways.
 
“As well as the physical pain and scars I’ve been left with, which are a constant reminder of what I’ve been through, my experiences have had a huge impact on me mentally.
 
“The support my family have given me has really helped and I’m relieved the Trust has admitted liability for what I’ve been through. I now hope that I can now start to draw a line under my ordeal and focus all my energies on my studies.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling medical negligence cases.