Case studies

Investigations into potentially negligent obstetric care resulting in miscarriage


We are investigating a claim for a lady who presented at A&E 16 weeks pregnant, having experienced bleeding throughout her pregnancy. A scan the previous week had revealed a large placenta. After waiting some time, our client was reviewed by a junior gynaecologist, who proceeded to perform a physical examination using forceps. We believe that in doing so, the junior doctor may have caused our client’s membranes to rupture.

Sadly our client was then advised that she was miscarrying and that she would need an induction to deliver the baby. This took place the following morning. Our client spent a night in hospital with little pain relief and understandably in a great deal of distress. She underwent emergency removal of the placenta. A post mortem confirmed fetal death due to a dilated cervix and bulging membranes.

We understand that the GMC will be looking into the actions of the junior gynaecologist, who would seem to have acted beyond his remit and without consultation with a senior/supervising colleague. Our client is concerned that the physical examination was performed without her consent and was inappropriate. She also questions whether the actions of the junior doctor led or contributed to the loss of her baby. In addition to that loss and the physical pain our client has endured, events have caused her considerable anxiety and she may have suffered a psychiatric injury as a result.

A detailed investigation is being undertaken.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP