Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Pregnant Mother Dies After Misdiagnosis

By Cary Carr / Jul 20, 2013 11:35 AM EDT
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  • (Photo : warreno/Flickr) Regular intake of vitamin D during pregnancy helps babies develop stronger muscles, a latest study states.

A misdiagnosis cost a pregnant mother her life.

Three days after being sent home from a hospital when staff twice misdiagnosed her symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy for a stomach bug, pregnant mother Becky Ben-Nejma passed away, according to the Daily Mail.

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An ectopic pregnancy causes an embryo to implant outside the uterus. And while one doctor believed the 28-year-old could have been suffering with the condition, he was unable to confirm the diagnosis because the hospital's specialist scanning service was shut down for the weekend.

Ben-Nejma's family was provided with an undisclosed six-figure compensation payout after the hospital admitted she was misdiagnosed and took responsibility for her death, the article reports.

The mother of two visited Maidstone Hospital's A&E department with stomach pains when medical staff said she probably had gastroenteritis before sending her home with painkillers. When she returned the following day claiming she was in even more pain, the A&E registrar still diagnosed it as gastroenteritis and sent her home with strong painkillers.

The next day, she collapsed around 7:30 a.m. into the arms of her then 12-year old daughter before suffering from a heart attack. Although she was rushed into a hospital by air ambulance, she suffered cardiac arrest while undergoing the emergency operation to remove her fallopian tubes.

Ben-Nejma was kept on life support before the decision was made to switch it off on December 20, 2010, her daughter's 13th birthday. Tests then revealed she had experienced an ectopic pregnancy.

Details of the case resurfaced this week when it was revealed that Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust gave her family a compensation payout.

And, according to the Daily Mail, studies show that death rates at hospitals in England can be up to 25 percent higher on the weekends. NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said he hopes hospitals start to work as effectively on weekends as they do during the week. 

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