Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Ectopic Pregnancy Misdiagnosed

Posted In: Medical Errors 2 Replies
  • Posted By: bmkbrandi
  • July 24, 2008
  • 05:11 PM

I went to the hospital on June 28, 2008 with severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. I had taken a positive pregnancy test on May 27, 2008, so I knew I was pregnant when I went to the hospital. There were many ultrasounds ran and the first doctor told me that I had an ectopic pregnancy. They thought that it had ruptured and were discussing surgery with me. I was kept overnight in the ER and the next morning the OBGYN came in to see me. She had told me that she was not concerned the night before that I had an ectopic pregnancy. She thought that I had merely had a miscarriage and then formed an ovarian cyst that ruptured. She sent me home with pain medication and wanted me to follow up with my doctor in 10 days. When I came into the hospital my hormone levels were around 2200 and when they discharged me they were around 2100. I didn't get very good vibes from the OBGYN. On July 8, 2008 I went back to the hospital with more pains. At this point they determined it was an ectopic pregnancy. The OBGYN (a different one) this time decided that I should be given a shot instead of the surgery. This was at 4:00 am. I refused the shot until I could talk to him myself and get some straight answers. This was the second time in this hospital that I had been told I was going to have to have surgery and then things changed. The OBGYN came in around 8:00 am and discussed the issues with me. I then agreed to take the shot. About twenty minutes later he came back in and told me that he had just gone over all of my ultrasounds and that they needed to go ahead and do the surgery. I had internal bleeding at this point and he said the shot could only worsen the situation. He also told me that it was apparent in the ultrasounds from the first time I came to the ER that I had an ectopic pregnancy and something should have been done then. I went into surgery at 11:50 am. They had to take my right tube.

I went in for my follow up last week with the OBGYN from the hospital that did the surgery and my incisions are looking good. The OBGYN that missed the diagnosis is his business partner. He informed me that he had discussed what had happened with his partner and she felt very remorseful.

Has this sort of thing ever happened to anyone else?? I was just curious of how common it is.

Thank you,

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2 Replies:

  • Hi Brandi, I am in the same situation, I know how hurtful it is. I understand that the fetus couldn't be saved but my fallopian tube and yours don't have to be removed. I just got home from the hospital today after staying there for 4 days. I will have the staples removed 2 days later. I was pregnant and then had some bleeding during the third week, I went to the Urgent Care of my medical group and saw an emergency doctor (non-OB) they tested my blood, and then tested it again two days later. They told me everything is normal. I tried to see the OB doctor but he was on vacation and I can't see him until the 11th week. During the sixth week, I had more bleeding. So I went to the medical group and wanted to see the OB doctor that I was scheduled to see in the 11th week. However, they said if it is urgent, they will let me see another OB doctor now and then I can see the guy that I want to see during the 11th week. This temporary OB doctor presses my adominal area and even though I told her there is a lot of pain, she said it is normal. She also tested my blood but didn't order ultrasound. She didn't call me so I thought the hormonal level must be OK. I had too much pain and fainted during the 10th week so my husband called 911. They did an ultrasound and found out that the fetus is in the right fallopian tube and they said they will try to save the tube. However, during surgery they had to remove the tube because the fetus was more than 2 inches long. Now I have only one fallopian tube and I read from some website that my chance of getting a successful pregnant is only 40%. I want a child so much and I am so hurt by the misdiagnosis. I don't know if this is their fault or not. Did they miss some thing? Cindy
    cindynguyen 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi ladies,This is a very hard subject for me. First off a little history, I was diagnosed with stage IV endometriosis at the age of 18, everything in my stomach was attached to my uterus by way of either scar tissue or lesions. The doctors told me I would never have children. I had my son in March of 2000. I was very happy, but I was on bed rest the entire pregnancy due to being high risk. I have always wanted another child, and determined to make it happen. In 2002, I had a miscarriage, another in 2005, 2006, and in 2007 I found out I was pregnant again. Things were looking good or so I thought. I did have a pregnancy in the uterus, but then I miscarried. I was a little more than ten weeks. 10 days later I went to the emergency room for severe pain in my right side. Mind you, since day one I had pain in my right side, had bleeding, had about 4 or 5 ultrasounds done, and three different doctors told me that everything was ok. I even questioned the posibility of an ectopic, they told me no. At the emergency room, they drew my blood and my hcg levels were 5500, the ob doctor came in and said he was almost certain that I had an ectopic, he admitted me and said he would be back around 6am, do an ultrasound and prep for surgery. They did the ultrasound, the doctor came in and said "medically speaking you are healthy, I am going to send you home with some pain medicine". I was furious, first off, I had severe pain, the worst pain I have ever felt, second, my hcg levels were at 5500, 10 days after I miscarried!!! I told him he needed to do the surgery, he said that I would be in more pain afterwards than I was at that point. I still told him that he needed to do the surgery, finally he did. He came out of the operating room and told my husband that it was a good thing I had followed my instincts, because my tube had ruptured and I was bleeding inside. He said that he saved my tube, and I could have died from it. Unbelievable!!!! The next September (same month as my ectopic, only a year later) the same doctor misdiagnosed an ectopic pregnancy in my sister-in-law. She had to have the same surgery, I insisted that she tell the doctor to take a better look. September 2009, I miscarried at 8 weeks. December 2009, I had a second ectopic pregnancy rupture my right tube, this time my tube could not be saved. The second was more horrible than the first, I guess because the tube was already fragile, it really ruptured it. I went to the emergency room, and of course got the same OB, he was on call that day. This time though, he knew I meant business, he did not hestitate, got me right into emergency surgery. He said that my tube was not salvageable. I am sorry to hear about your losses. I know from experience that it is one of the most difficult things to deal with. Good luck to you all.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 13, 2010
    • 05:17 AM
    • 0
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