Settlement of ectopic pregnancy case highlights the need for greater awareness of the conditions

Posted: 03/12/2015


Penningtons Manches has recently settled another case for the failure to diagnose our client’s ectopic pregnancy. 

The settlement comes in the wake of a recent article published by the Daily Mail on 27 October 2015 which reported on the story of Tracy Allcock who, after falling ill on holiday in Turkey, was found to have a heterotopic pregnancy. Tracy’s story highlights again the importance of raising awareness about the issue of ectopic pregnancy.

While on holiday, Tracy had started to suffer stomach cramps but she put this down to digestive problems and was completely unaware that she was pregnant. She then blacked out and had to be revived with cold water. She was rushed to hospital where she was told that not only was she pregnant but also that she could have just hours to live. The doctors explained that they believed she had a condition called a heterotopic pregnancy where a second embryo had implanted in her fallopian tube and then burst. 

Tracy underwent a life-saving operation at Marmaris State Hospital in Turkey and was thrilled to learn that her five week old unborn baby in her womb had also survived the surgery. 

A surprising aspect of Tracy’s story is that, despite having five children, she had no idea what a heterotopic or an ectopic pregnancy was. She expressed her wish to raise awareness of the issue given how serious the consequences can be for failing to diagnose the condition early enough. She said: “I didn’t know anything about it and I think mums should be aware of what could happen.” 

What are ectopic and heterotopic pregnancies?

An ectopic pregnancy is where an embryo is implanted in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. A heterotopic pregnancy is a multiple pregnancy where one embryo is viably implanted within the woman’s uterus and the other is implanted elsewhere outside the uterus. 

There is a one in 30,000 chance of a heterotopic pregnancy occurring in natural conception but this chance increases to one in 100 with assisted reproduction such IVF. 

Our 'guide to ectopic pregnancies and their symptoms' provides more details about how to spot the signs of an ectopic pregnancy. 

At Penningtons Manches we have a team of experienced lawyers who have dealt with several cases concerning the delayed diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy. Should you, your partner or friend have any concerns regarding the medical treatment they have received, please call free on 0800 328 9545 for an initial chat.


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