A woman who suffered an ectopic pregnancy was reportedly left infertile after doctors accidentally removed the wrong fallopian tube during the surgery. Chelsie Thomas was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital in March last year after she suffered from an ectopic pregnancy in her right fallopian tube. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants itself outside the womb which can be life-threatening.
While the doctors were supposed to treat her right fallopian tube, they mistakingly removed her left fallopian tube. However, Thomas was not informed about the mistake after the surgery. "The next day, the doctor came into my room and said everything was fine," she shared, as reported by The Guardian. A week after the surgery, Thomas got a call from the doctor asking her to return to the hospital where they admitted that a mistake had been committed.
"I was in shock more than anything," Thomas recalled. "I went back and he rescanned me. As soon as the heartbeat came up on the screen, he passed out." Thomas recalled that she was in a state where she did not know how to respond but was not ready to let the doctor continue the checkup. "I walked out of the room, I was in shock and I couldn't breathe… I refused to let him take me back to the theatre. I didn’t want him anywhere near me," she recalled. Later, the hospital assigned another doctor for Thomas and the next day she was taken to the operating theatre.
Thomas, who had been working in the hospital as a healthcare assistant for the last nine years, spent the next three days recovering. Thomas said that the incident had ruined her life. She is already a mother of a six-year-old son and was told by the hospital that the only option for her to have a child in the future is through IVF treatment.
Due to this incident, Thomas' relationship with her partner fell apart and she even lost her job. "I'm on antidepressants now because of it all. I've got a psychiatrist review that states that I have severe depression and I've got to have therapy. As I get older, the problem is not going to go away because I still can't conceive," she said while noting that she was also under debt. Kathryn Salt, Thomas’s solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: "We are happy that the trust has admitted liability early on in the case because it means we can focus on investigating the support Chelsie needs."
She further said, "This is what's classed as a never event – removing the wrong tube – but unfortunately it has happened. This has had a huge impact on Chelsie both physically and emotionally." Dr. Matthew Lewis, the medical director of Walsall Healthcare NHS trust apologized for the incident. "We would once again offer our sincere apologies to the patient involved for the fact that our care fell below the standard that we would expect for anyone who uses our services," he said.
He continued, "In this particular case, while the necessary checks were carried out before surgery and consent were given, an error was regrettably made. The trust investigates errors thoroughly in accordance with our internal governance processes, working with patients and their families, our own clinicians and staff to learn lessons and put systems in place to try and avoid such incidents."
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