Pills dropping into a hand

Error in prescription of oestrogen-only HRT to a female who had not undergone a hysterectomy

This medical negligence case arose out of the care provided to Mrs G by her GP.

On 15 October 2013, Mrs G was prescribed combined oestrogen-progesterone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms. Mrs G was happy with HRT and continued to take it as prescribed.

On 30 July 2015, Mrs G saw her GP and reported that the HRT patches were no longer relieving her symptoms. She started to experience hot sweats, flushes and mood changes. She was advised to try an alternative HRT patch with a slightly higher dose of oestrogen. She was prescribed Evorel patches.

Mrs G’s prescription was subsequently switched to Estraderm.

On 14 January 2019, Mrs G reported vaginal bleeding. She was referred to secondary care on the two week wait pathway as a suspected case of cancer.

Further investigations were undertaken, and Mrs G was diagnosed with an endometrial polyp. This was removed and all further tests came back as normal.

On 3 June 2019, during a review with her GP, Mrs G was advised that she had been prescribed the incorrect HRT. She had been prescribed oestrogen-only HRT (without progesterone). This was inappropriate as Mrs G still had her womb. In a female with a womb, taking oestrogen-only HRT increases the risk of excessive thickening of the lining of the womb and endometrial cancer.

Upon receipt of Mrs G’s medical records, a witness statement was drafted. A consultant gynaecologist was then instructed to report on the care that Mrs G received.

Upon receipt of supportive expert evidence, a letter was sent to the defendant setting out the allegations of negligence. The GP admitted that treatment had fallen below the acceptable standard, and the case settled soon after for £2,000.

Christina Mallery specialises in claims related to gynaecology. If you would like to ask Christina a question about a potential clinical negligence claim, or if you have a general query about any personal injury claim, contact Christina at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701183 in confidence.

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