"Miscarriage at A&E"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

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I arrived at PAH bleeding and in pain at 9 weeks pregnancy, with no one to accompany me as husband was at home taking care of our 2 young children. I was initially seen quickly for blood test and then told they would give me painkillers as I was in great pain. I was asked to wait in a second waiting room until the doctor would come to see me. I sat for 2 hours, in great pain, both physical and emotional in front of all the other people waiting to see a doctor. As I was in the midst of having a miscarriage, another patient was aking me what time it was. No one came to update me, I eventually asked a nurse after 2 hours waiting, who said I was to see the Gynae doctor and as there is only one on duty, it could be a while. While being examined by the doctor, he said I had just passed tissue, which I didn't completely understand until I asked him if it was my fetus/ baby. He said yes. I asked to see it, which he did show me in a tissue. I wasn't offered options of whether I wanted to take the fetus with me or how the fetus would be disposed of and I was too upset to think rationally and ask these questions myself, which I now greatly regret and feel guilty about. It haunts me to think that my baby may just be discarded with general hospital waste and I regret not asking to have my baby go home with me to be respectfully buried in the garden. I had no support or counselling, was just sent home and told if pregnancy test still positive in 2 weeks, to go back to EPU. Feeling extremely sad, empty and disappointed, not just for my loss, but also lack of support and empathy from medical staff, even though they were friendly and nice when I spoke with them, just lacking that empathy for someone going through a very painful and difficult experience. Wish I could've miscarried in the privacy of my home instead, as at least no one would be watching and I would have had the time to think of what to do with my baby.

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Responses

Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Ana, I was so sorry to read your story because this is not the kind of experience we would want you to have. I can understand that you must be feeling very distressed and want to try and help assure you about what will have happened. I have advised the Head of Nursing for Emergency Medicine, the Clinical Director for A&E and the Director of Nursing for the Trust of what has happened and they are keen to meet with you to understand how we could handle this better in future. I am sorry you did not get a message about our dedicated Birth Reflections Service where a specialist midwife from the Women's Services clinical leadership team is available to speak to you to help answer any questions and discuss your concerns. Please do get in touch with the Patient Experience Team who will be able to arrange a meeting with the Birth Reflections Service as soon as possible. The team is available Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and we will try to help in any way we can.

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