"My sister was told she had lost her baby when she hadn't"

About: Stafford Hospital / Maternity care

(as a relative),

I am writing to complain about the staff and equipment on the delivery ward. This about my sister who went to the delivery ward on Tuesday feeling unwell with stomach cramps and lack of movement. Upon arrival they took her to a room and then came to see her with a Doppler which kept turning off. So she went and got a doctor with a scanner to scan her which after a few minutes of scanning they said the couldn't find a heart beat. They then took her into a private room where they said they would give her a few minutes to calm down. A little while later they came back in and pronounced the baby was dead to which my sister broke down again. They said they had to do a conformation scan in the morning and after that they would decide how she would give birth to him.

After all this, my sister told one of the midwives that she thought she could feel her baby moving. To which she got told it was all in her head, it was just the baby floating around in the water and she was basically deluding herself. The next morning they fetched my sister for her scan and told her they had no doubt about what she got told the previous night. She went into the room and they scanned her. Then the sonographer got another member of staff to come and look at the screen to confirm that the baby was actually alive and they could see its' heart beat and obviously my sister was hysterical. Then they checked the cord, placenta and water to which everything was perfectly fine.

My sister then got taken back to the ward and got told it would be a while before some came to explain. When they came to talk to my sister and all they can say is sorry about it all and it's the first time its every happened (which based on what I have heard from others is untrue). The only excuse they had was that it is old machinery but they are glad they got it wrong and the doctor who told her that the baby was dead was upset. They also said that they are the 5th best maternity in the area to which my sister said she didn't feel confident and safe at the hospital anymore but they said she had to decide asap and it was her choice. Although they didn't induce her or make her have the baby if they did it would of been 13 weeks early to which it might not have survived and they would have possibly accidentally killed him.

So I am writing this to hopefully get these changed

1) inform you about the incident so you can do all in your power to make sure it don't happen again

2) to check all machinery to make sure its all up to date

3) to remove any faulty machines off of the ward and replace it with appropriate equipment

4) make sure there is more than one of each test done

5) allow for second options to be available on site

6) make sure scans and Doppler are done all over the stomach and not on the one side they think baby is

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Response from Claire Hall, Communications Manager, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear of what must have been an extremely distressing experience for your sister. An investigation had been started following these events and subsequent to your contact with us yesterday, we have invited you and your sister to meet with senior staff in order to address your concerns. In the meantime, all equipment is being checked.

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Update posted by angrysis (a relative)

It definitely was indeed extremely distressing. However we are very grateful for all the cooperation and help we have received since the incident. It is just a shame it all happened but thank you. We are looking forward to our meeting.

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