Is it possible to claim for miscarriage misdiagnosis compensation if I was told my baby had died and prescribed Cytotec, but did not take it and my baby survived?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Although it is fortunate that neither you nor your baby came to any physical harm, it may be possible to make a claim for miscarriage misdiagnosis compensation for the psychological injury you experienced at the time you were incorrectly diagnosed as having miscarried and for any difficulty you have experienced bonding with your child since he or she was born.

In order for a miscarriage misdiagnosis compensation claim to be successful in these circumstances, it has to be proved that the doctor who misdiagnosed the miscarriage was negligent “at the time and in the circumstances” and that no competent doctor would have made the same mistake. Therefore, it will be necessary for a medical expert to have access to your medical history from the time of your misdiagnosis to determine that your doctor displayed a poor professional performance when diagnosing a miscarriage and then review any consultations leading up to your child´s birth to ascertain whether you suffered any quantifiable emotional trauma due to your doctor´s negligence.

It will also be necessary for you and your child to undergo an assessment by a child psychologist. This will help determine whether there has been a lack of maternal bonding between you and your child and if it can be attributed to the misdiagnosis of a miscarriage. Only if some measurable psychological injury is established by the medical expert or child psychologist will you be able to make a claim for miscarriage misdiagnosis compensation – the degree of psychological trauma you have experienced determining how much compensation for the misdiagnosis of a miscarriage you will entitled to claim.

As a significant amount of time may have already passed since the original misdiagnosis of a miscarriage, it would be in your best interests to speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity. Even though you are allowed two years from the date on which an injury is established in which to make a claim for compensation for the misdiagnosis of a miscarriage, as assessment of any psychological injury you have sustained would be more accurate closer to the trigger for the trauma you suffered. Speaking with a solicitor as soon as possible would also provide more time for a review of your medical history and assessments of your psychological injury to be made.