A doctor at Canberra's abortion clinic has been accused of failing to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, with the woman ending up in emergency surgery for a ruptured fallopian tube.
She says she has struggled to get pregnant since the surgery.
The 32-year-old woman approached the Marie Stopes clinic in Civic in 2013. After several appointments she was diagnosed with a normal pregnancy and given abortion drugs.
But her pregnancy was in fact ectopic – meaning the foetus had developed in her fallopian tube instead of her uterus.
Abortion drugs are ineffective on such pregnancies, but if left untreated they can cause a fallopian tube to rupture, which is what happened to the woman shortly after she took the abortion drugs.
The woman has accused both the doctor and Marie Stopes of breaching their duty to manage her with reasonable care and skill and she is seeking damages.
Both deny the breach and will defend themselves against the claims.
The woman called the clinic in 2013 after a positive home test.
At the clinic a few days later, she had a urine test and the clinic doctor performed an ultrasound. He was not able to diagnose a pregnancy then, and ordered a blood test.
The blood test came back positive, and the woman alleges she returned to the clinic where she took another urine test and had another ultrasound by the doctor.
At this appointment the doctor confirmed he could see a yolk sac and that she was pregnant and could go ahead with the abortion, the statement of claim alleges.
She took the first dose of pills.The next day she says she took the second dose of pills. Within hours, the woman says she experienced severe pain and expelled blood clots.
She called the clinic and was told to monitor the symptoms and take painkillers, the statement of claim filed with the court alleges. She said she called again the next day, and was advised to take painkillers and reassured about the pain.
The day after she experienced a "surge" of severe abdominal pain that grew worse. She went to Canberra Hospital, where she was admitted.
An ultrasound at the hospital allegedly revealed no yolk sac.
And when the woman got out of bed she collapsed and lost consciousness. She underwent emergency surgery, and a ruptured ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed.
Doctors removed her right fallopian tube as she lost a litre of blood.
In documents filed to the court in June, the woman says she has not been able to get pregnant, despite trying for seven months.
She is claiming damages for the pain and suffering following the ordeal, as well as for the possible loss of fertility and the possible need for assisted reproductive technology to become pregnant.
The woman alleges both the Marie Stopes clinic and the doctor owed her a duty to manage her with reasonable care and skill.
She alleges the clinic failed to adequately train the doctor how to assess test results and do an ultrasound and interpret the results.
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