Case study: £44,500 settlement for delayed adenomyosis and fibroids diagnosis
Our dedicated Medical Negligence team supported a client who experienced an extensive delay in diagnosing and treating severe adenomyosis and fibroids, which contributed to recurrent anaemia and the worsening of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
History of worsening menstrual problems
Ms M, our client, suffered from heavy and prolonged periods from the age of 18. In 1999, at 33 years old, she began experiencing severe fatigue, causing her to abandon her role as a research academic and delaying the completion of her PhD.
Ms M was initially diagnosed with viral myalgia (muscle pain) and neurasthenia (a syndrome marked by physical and mental fatigue), conditions associated with fatigue and muscle pain. By 2001, her fatigue worsened, accompanied by insomnia and flu-like symptoms. In 2002, she received a diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), now known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Between 2002 and 2009, Ms M grappled with painful periods, fatigue, and anaemia, largely confining her to her home and leading to feelings of isolation and depression. Ms M was under the care of her GP for an investigation into her gynaecological issues between 2009 and 2016, however, no physical examinations or referrals were made.
Hospital admission for significant loss of blood
In August 2016, at the age of 50, Ms M experienced a significant loss of blood and severe period pain, prompting her to call an ambulance. Hospitalisation followed where a hard abdominal mass was noted leading to a suspected diagnosis of adenomyosis (a condition where the lining of the womb starts growing into the muscle in the wall of the womb) and fibroids. A subsequent abdominal hysterectomy in December 2016 uncovered an enlarged uterus, and large fibroids which were exerting pressure on her surrounding organs.
Following surgery, Ms M’s symptoms greatly improved, and her fatigue reduced substantially.
Claim for medical negligence
Our medical negligence solicitors instructed a GP expert who criticised Ms M’s GPs for neglecting physical assessments in their investigation of her gynaecological symptoms.
The opinion of an obstetric and gynaecology expert was subsequently obtained who noted that Ms M’s large fibroid diagnosed in 2016 was equivalent to a 30-week foetus, measuring at 21 centimetres. He concluded that Ms M’s uterus would have been noticeable abdominally eight years before her diagnosis in 2016. He also stated that, had a vaginal examination been performed in 2008 or thereafter, uterine enlargement would have been readily detected. He also was of the view that in the absence of the delayed diagnosis, Ms M would have undergone a hysterectomy through a bikini line incision in 2008 and avoided eight years of menstrual symptoms, recurrent anaemia and the need for surgery through a large vertical incision which left her with an unsightly abdominal scar.
An expert in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome confirmed that Ms M’s CFS had been made worse by her prolonged menstrual symptoms and anaemia.
Compensation for delayed diagnosis
This claim was highly complex, with the Defendants vigorously maintaining a full denial of liability throughout the claim, which lasted almost five years before an agreement was reached between the parties.
In 2022, the case settled out of court for £44,500, providing Ms M with compensation for her prolonged struggles.