Miscarriage Misdiagnosis Claims

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Making a Miscarriage Misdiagnosis Claim

It’s estimated that around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and this can be an emotionally harrowing experience for parents who were expecting a baby. It’s even more devastating when a woman is told she has miscarried, but the pregnancy is still viable. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to serious complications if treatment is prescribed to manage the miscarriage while the baby grows.

If you would like support or advice about a potential misdiagnosed miscarriage claim, please speak to us. Our birth injury solicitors can help you access support, answers and compensation.

What is a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy in the first 23 weeks. From the 24th week, it is known as a stillbirth. In most cases, miscarriage is due to a combination of genetic or chromosomal abnormalities in the developing baby. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bleeding and tissue passing, and most women know or suspect when a miscarriage has occurred.

The majority occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, often before the woman knows she is pregnant. Later miscarriages are rare and occur in only 1% of pregnancies.

What is a misdiagnosed miscarriage?

A misdiagnosed miscarriage occurs when a woman is told that her baby had died in utero when in fact, the pregnancy is continuing. This can be an extremely distressing experience for the pregnant woman and her family. If a miscarriage is diagnosed, the mother may be prescribed medication to help the uterine lining shed. This can harm the baby if the pregnancy is still viable. For example, the baby may be born with disabilities they would not otherwise have had.

A misdiagnosed miscarriage can occur during any stage of pregnancy. If it is caused by medical negligence, you may be able to bring a compensation claim.

How are miscarriages misdiagnosed?

Miscarriages are misdiagnosed when medical practitioners fail to detect the baby’s heartbeat, leading them to conclude that the pregnancy has ended. This may be caused by:

  • Faulty ultrasound equipment
  • Wrong interpretation of scan results
  • Incorrect antenatal examinations
  • Confusing the symptoms of miscarriage with an ectopic pregnancy

While an ectopic pregnancy can mimic a miscarriage, it is potentially fatal to the mother. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. This type of pregnancy is not viable and needs to be resolved urgently. If an ectopic pregnancy is mistaken for a miscarriage and allowed to grow, the fallopian tube may burst. This can cause severe bleeding and endanger the mother’s life.

What are the signs of misdiagnosis?

The warning signs that your miscarriage may have been misdiagnosed include:

  • You continue to experience pregnancy symptoms after you have been told you have miscarried
  • You have no bleeding or only light spotting
  • The results of pregnancy tests are conflicting or inconclusive

If you have experienced any of these signs, it is important that you seek further medical advice.

How do I make a miscarriage misdiagnosis claim?

If you think you may have a miscarriage misdiagnosis claim, contact us today for a free initial consultation. We can help you assess the strength of your claim and advise you on the best course of action, including how you can fund your claim with a no-win, no-win fee arrangement.

To make a successful claim, we will need to prove that medical professionals owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, and you suffered harm as a result. Your solicitor will obtain an independent medical report and expert evidence regarding the misdiagnosis to support your claim, and we will then open negotiations to settle.

Most cases do not need to go to court. However, if a court hearing is necessary, we will provide you with expert support to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If this is later, you have three years to claim the date of the misdiagnosis or the date you became aware of the misdiagnosis.

What can I claim for?

Each claim will be unique and depend on the severity of the injury, but typically you may be able to claim for:

  • Pain and suffering you experienced
  • The psychological impact of the misdiagnosis, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression
  • Medical expenses
  • Long-term care costs for your child if your child suffers from a long-term injury
  • Future private fertility treatment
  • Loss of earnings for any time you need to take off work. Read this blog post for further information on Parental Bereavement Leave & Pay.

Our firm has medical negligence experts who are specialists in miscarriage misdiagnosis claims. We understand how traumatic it can be when a miscarriage is misdiagnosed, and we will work closely with you to ensure that your claim is handled quickly and sensitively. Call 020 7485 8811 to speak to a solicitor.

Additional resources

Related services

We specialise in serious birth injury claims, including:

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    • Stephanie Prior is head of the clinical negligence department at Osbornes Law. She acts on a wide range of issues, including claims for brain injuries sustained at birth and delays in diagnosis. She frequently represents clients in fatal claims involving surgical error.

      Chambers UK 2023

    • "Stephanie Prior is the leading spokesperson on the high profile maternity scandal cases involving many NHS Trusts."

      Legal 500 2023

    • Stephanie has developed a particularly strong reputation for her handling of birth injury claims, as well as cases concerning surgical negligence and delays in surgery.

      Chambers UK

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