Reproductive organs

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Reproductive organs

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care, but on occasions this duty is breached, leading to serious health consequences.  When medical treatment relating to the male or female reproductive organs goes wrong, the implications can be physically and psychologically traumatic, and may negatively alter the life plans of those affected.

There are many medical problems that can occur in relation to the reproductive organs in males and females – and if not undertaken properly or incorrectly diagnosed, pain, discomfort, sexual dysfunction, inability to conceive, and many other problems can occur.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for medical negligence relating to reproductive organs, please call our office on 0333 123 9099.

 

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What is medical negligence?

Medical (or clinical) negligence occurs when a medical professional causes you harm because they act in a manner that deviates from the proper medical standard of care.  To prove medical negligence has occurred, it is necessary to show:

  1. The doctor owed a duty of care, and;
  2. The duty of care was breached, and;
  3. The act of negligence caused the patient harm

To prove negligence occurred, it is necessary to demonstrate a medical professional of the same level would not have made the same mistake.

At IBB Claims, we have a dedicated team specialising in medical negligence claims.  Over many years we have been entrusted by our clients to handle their medical negligence cases.  

We understand how deeply upsetting and traumatic it can be when a medical error is made in relation to the sexual and reproductive parts of the body.  Some patients are left with a profound emotional trauma because they can no longer have children or be intimate with their partner.  As such, we recognise that the physical aspects of the harm caused can be as impactful as the mental pain.  We work with our clients to secure the best compensation possible and ensure both mind and body are looked after, putting them back to their original state as much as is feasible.  In addition, compensation will help cover any costs you have incurred as a result of the medical negligence and any loss of earnings.  It is vital that you can concentrate on your physical and psychological recovery, and we achieve this by taking your financial concerns off your shoulders.

What types of medical negligence can occur in relation to the reproductive organs?

Gynaecological medical negligence

  • Vaginal rejuvenationvaginal rejuvenation, or vaginoplasty procedures are carried out to tighten the vagina, often following childbirth, or due to the natural ageing process.  This may be combined with other corrections to reshape the vulva or labia (vulvaplasty and labiaplasty respectively).  If not conducted correctly, patients can be left with bladder damage, excessive blood loss, infection, loss of sensation, and pain during sexual intercourse.  It may also be the case you are unhappy with the aesthetic appearance of the correction made, which may result from the negligent way in which the procedure was carried out.
  • Vaginal mesh implants – the extent of the vaginal mesh implant scandal has caused wide shock and anger across the world, leading to over 100,000 lawsuits being filed in the United States alone.  Medical mesh was commonly used to provide structural support within the body to treat conditions such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP).  The problem is the mesh can cause serious scarring, nerve damage, and bleeding by damaging the immediate structures around the vagina.  And because the body’s tissues grow into and surround the mesh implant, it often cannot be removed entirely without causing significant internal damage.  Patients can suffer serious pain, an inability to have sexual intercourse, bleeding, infections, and significant internal damage.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo is lodged within the fallopian tube, rather than the uterus.  Not only will the embryo not develop fully, but by remaining in the fallopian tube, there is a serious risk of rupture.  Such events are not uncommon; around one in 80 – 90 pregnancies are thought to be ectopic.  By not detecting this condition, the mother is at serious risk of serious internal bleeding (which can be fatal), and damage to the fallopian tube and surrounding structures – in addition to suffering severe pain and psychological trauma.
  • Other reproductive organ medical procedures and problems which may lead to negligence claims may include:
  • Cancer misdiagnosis – including cervical, ovarian, uterine / endometrial, vaginal and vulvar cancer.
  • Colposcopy – examination of the cervix and vaginal walls
  • Abortion
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C) – a procedure whereby the lining of the uterus is scraped but if done negligently may result in perforation of the womb, infection, or damage to the cervix.
  • Sterilisation – during this procedure the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked preventing the passage of eggs to the womb.  Sometimes these procedures can fail if the clips used to block the fallopian tubes are not applied correctly.
  • Hysterectomy – a major surgical procedure to remove all or part of the uterus.  Problems can occur if poor surgical technique is used or unnecessary procedures are carried out.
  • Insertion of contraception – If not undertaken with due care, such procedures can lead to perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes.
  • Myomectomy - uterine fibroid removal.
  • Oophorectomy - ovary removal.
  • Salpingectomy- fallopian tube removal.
  • Wrongful abortion – such an event may occur if a patient is advised to have an abortion based on incorrect advice – or incorrect information is provided which may lead a patient to make this conclusion.
  • Misdiagnosis of endometriosis

Male reproductive system medical negligence

There are a wide-range of health conditions which men suffer which require medical intervention – but if not carried out to the necessary standard can lead to adverse outcomes including damaged fertility, loss of sexual function, and in the case of cancer, early death, these include:

  • Testicular torsiontesticular torsion is a serious medical condition which occurs when the testicle rotates causing the spermatic cord to become twisted, cutting off the blood supply.  When this happens, the individual can suffer extreme levels of pain and swelling.  If this is suspected, the patient should be admitted to hospital immediately for urgent attention by paediatric (in the case of children) or urology medical specialists.  Any male presenting to their GP or accident and emergency department should be assessed for testicular torsion if they are suffering acute groin pain and swelling – especially of under the age of 30.  Due to the loss of blood supply, by addressing the problem within six hours, the chance of saving the testicle is 90%, versus 10% if the problem is only rectified 24 hours after the torsion occurred.
  • Prostate cancer misdiagnosis – Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, with over 40,000 men being diagnosed in the UK each year, and 11,000 deaths.  The prostate gland is a walnut-sized organ located between the penis and bladder.  Signs of cancer in this gland include blood in the urine / semen, a burning sensation during urination or ejaculation, a frequent need to urinate, and difficulty stopping the flow of urine.  All patients with symptoms of this nature should be seriously investigated for prostate cancer, as the earlier it is detected, the better the long-term outcome.  Once prostate cancer is identified, it may be necessary to remove all or part of the prostate gland by carrying out a prostatectomy procedure. 
  • Plastic surgery – such procedures may include penile implants, penis reduction, scrotoplasty, circumcision (whereby the foreskin is removed typically soon after birth or at puberty), and phalloplasty.  If any of these surgical procedures are not completed competently, the result can be a loss of sexual function, pain, and emotional trauma. 
  • Failed vasectomy – the decision to have a vasectomy is often made for personal practical, financial, and emotional reasons.  During this procedure the surgeon cuts, ties, or seals the vas deferens to prevent sperm travelling into the urethra during sexual intercourse.  Unfortunately, failed vasectomies are not uncommon resulting in unplanned conception. 
  • Other male reproductive medical procedures and problems which may lead to negligence claims may include:
  • Cystoprostatectomy – removal of the bladder and prostate gland
  • Cystourethrectomy – removal of the bladder and urethra
  • Orchidectomy – removal of the testicles
  • Cancer – including testicular cancer

Can I claim for reproductive organ medical negligence?

If any patient receives care which does not meet the expected standard of care, this may constitute clinical negligence.  This is tested by asking if the medical professional acted in a manner in which a responsible body of medical professionals who work in the same field would deem to be acceptable.  If that act of negligence directly led to damage or loss being caused, then compensation may be awarded.  If you are unsure if you have a valid case for compensation, contact IBB Claims today; one of our medical negligence team will be quickly able to confirm if you are eligible and advise the next steps in the process.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for medical negligence relating to reproductive organs, please call our office on 0333 123 9099.

How much can I claim for reproductive organ medical negligence?

To bring a successful claim for reproductive organ medical negligence, it is advisable to engage the services of a specialist medical negligence solicitor with a track record of achieving the best results for claimants.  Success depends on creating a compelling case with the necessary evidence to prove negligence occurred.  To this end, IBB Claims often engage the services of a medical expert who will fully assess the details of the case, including your medical records to identify relevant medical issues.   

The other invaluable benefit of engaging our services is that we will ensure you receive the maximum award possible, in addition to arranging a comprehensive rehabilitation programme if required.  We will work with the third-party’s solicitor or insurer to prioritise rehabilitation, with the goal of restoring your health as much as is feasible.

The amount of the claim will be determined by the extent of the damage caused.  For example, if the act of negligence means you are now unable to have children, the payment awarded will depend on whether you already have children, or are planning to start a family, the extent of the psychological trauma caused, and the pain and suffering incurred.

At IBB Claims, we will help you secure the maximum possible award for:

  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Accommodation and travel expenses
  • Loss of earnings (current and future)
  • Adaptations to your home
  • Equipment to enable your independence

How long do I have to make a claim for reproductive organ medical negligence?

To make a claim for medical negligence, you have three years from the event occurring to the date when your claim is formally received by the court.  As it can take many months to gather the necessary evidence to give you the best chance of securing an award, the sooner you are able to engage the services of a specialist medical negligence compensation solicitor, the better.  In some cases, claimants are not aware of the act of clinical error having occurred until some time after the event – in which case you will have three years to make your claim from the date of knowledge of the injury.  For children who have suffered reproductive organ medical negligence, the three-year time limitation to bring a compensation claim starts from their 18th birthday.

For patients who lack mental capacity, there may be no time limit to bring a claim for compensation.

If you are unsure if you have a valid case, or if you have sufficient time to make a claim, call IBB Claims today.  If we consider your case for medical misdiagnosis compensation is strong, we will offer to take your case on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, giving you the assurance we believe in the merits of your claim, and taking any financial risk off your shoulders, thereby allowing you to focus on your recovery or that of your loved one.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for medical negligence relating to reproductive organs, please call our office on 0333 123 9099.

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