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Ectopic Pregnancy and Medical Malpractice

Ectopic means misplaced, and therefore ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb or uterus. In a normal pregnancy, the baby will be born within the uterus, where it grows in the course of nine months. A pregnancy that winds up going outside the uterus is potentially quite deadly. When the embryo is growing in an enclosed space, it cannot go anywhere, it will keep getting bigger, and the woman will experience various symptoms.

When such things happen, the woman should consult a doctor immediately. The doctor will have to determine where the pregnancy is taking place, how far long the pregnancy has progressed, and whether the pregnancy is viable.

Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms

If the pregnancy is outside the uterus and it continues to grow, the woman will experience certain symptoms, which are:

· Pain in the back or on one side of the abdomen

· Pain in the tip of shoulders

· Vaginal bleeding

· Passing feces becomes painful

· Feeling faint consistently

· Diarrhea

Treatment Options

When the doctor fails to recognize that the pregnancy is taking place outside the uterus, the woman can wind up with devastating results. One of the most serious scenarios is rupture and the woman can bleed to death. If the doctor recognizes where the pregnancy is occurring, he will perform a surgery, most probably remove the fallopian tube, and save the woman's life.

If the ectopic pregnancy is recognized in the very early stages, certain medications can be given to treat that condition. However, if the pregnancy has progressed considerably, and medication is not going to help, surgery will be the only option. There are two types of surgeries performed for ectopic pregnancy:

· Salpingotomy - In this surgery, the doctor will try to remove the pregnancy and leave the most of the fallopian tube intact.

· Salpingectomy - In this surgery, the fallopian tube is removed along with the pregnancy.

Any one of these surgeries will have to be performed before the tube ruptures.

When can a Woman File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Ectopic pregnancy can be grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit when such pregnancy was not diagnosed by the doctor, or when inappropriate and/or incorrect treatment is provided for the condition. This could happen in the following ways:

· The doctor misreads the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy and does not provide any treatment.

· A routine scan is performed during the woman's pregnancy, but when the doctor does not find the fetus in the uterus, he does explore further or order any tests.

· The doctor recognizes the symptoms to be of ectopic pregnancy but does not order further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

· The doctor diagnoses ectopic pregnancy but delays treatment, which causes complications

· The doctor prescribes incorrect or inappropriate medications when the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed early.

· The doctor is negligent or careless, while performing surgery, which leads to complications and even death.

Therefore, ectopic pregnancy could be grounds for a medical malpractice case, where the woman can claim compensation for her injuries and suffering.

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