Doctor 'mistakes pregnancy for ear problem'

Bernadette Chua, ninemsn
8:49am November 13, 2012

A Melbourne woman has launched a Supreme Court action against a doctor who she claims misdiagnosed her as having inner-ear problems when she was actually seven months pregnant.

The woman, now 25, had only two months to prepare for the birth of her child despite visiting her doctor four times in 2009.

“I was pretty distressed,” the woman told the Herald Sun.

“When the ultrasound guy said, ‘Congratulations, you’re 29 weeks pregnant’, I just completely flipped out. I only had two months to work out what I was going to do, how I was going to look after him.”

The woman has taken action against Dr Ruth Mitchell for failing to realise she was pregnant.

The damages claim includes cover for medical expenses and the cost of raising the child.

But despite her ordeal, the woman said her three-year-old son had been a “charming” gift.

“From the moment he was born and I held him in my arms, I knew I would not let anything happen to him.”

A statement from the woman’s lawyers, Slater & Gordon, alleges the initial urine test to prove the women was pregnant was negative.

The woman claims Dr Mitchell failed on three more occasions to send the her for a blood test which would have confirmed her pregnancy.

The claim also alleged that the woman missed periods, suffered nausea and dizziness but Dr Mitchell diagnosed the woman with an inner-ear condition and prescribed her with anti-nausea medication.

The mother did a home pregnancy test when she noticed that she was putting on weight.

The defence has not been filed.

Sources: Herald Sun
Author: Bernadette Chua, Approving Editor: Fiona Willan

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