Nicola (2012) – Spain

Woman not informed of serious fetal defects at 12-week ultrasound

Nicola (not her real name) went for an ultrasound on 23 October 2012 at 12 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor noticed a lump on the head of the fetus, and didn’t know what it was. She was given an appointment for 2 weeks later (6 November) for another ultrasound. The two doctors said they were following the problem and had a clinical session the next day to evaluate the case and decide on possible actions. On November 7, the doctor told her she had to get an amniocentesis and an early echo-cardiogram. Nobody in the obstetrics service informed her that at the 12-week ultrasound a severe malformation of the fetus was clearly observed. This malformation was diagnosed by a gynecologist as an occipital meningocele, after observing a defect of the cranial occipital skull cap covered by skin and meninges, with observations of arachnoid strips inside the hernial sac and through the spine (and other problems). This was corroborated by 2 other gynecologists and two family doctors when they looked at the 12th week ultrasound. Nicola stated: “I believe that they are not served by this service and that they are negligent because they do not know how to diagnose or because they hide information.”

Source: Claim from Nicola to the Hospital da Costa Burela, 28 December 2012 (translated and summarized from Galician)