"Late Loss at 19 weeks"

About: Croydon University Hospital

I lost my baby at Croydon University Hospital on 10/10/2014. I was having cramps on that day in the morning. I called the midwife's number and spoke with a midwife. I explained my symptoms to the midwife. It was my first pregnancy and I didn't know it was contractions I was feeling. I explained to her that my cervix felt low and that I was having cramps that kept residing and starting all over again. I was scared and didn't know what to do. She told me that the early pregnancy unit would not see me as I was past the 18 weeks. She said she would try to move my consultancy appointment forward. By noon, I still felt bad but I couldn't call the midwives because they are only available for one hour (8am-9am) . I left work and by 4 pm I was desperate for help so I called NHS 111. They told me to call my GP or go to A n E at Croydon University Hospital. I was reluctant to go to A n E at Croydon University because the last time I went there at 10 weeks pregnant with a bleed, I waited for 4 hours only to be sent home with no help at all. I went to EPU the next morning for a scan. I had totally lost faith in A n E. My only other option was to go to my GP. I called and was able to see my GP at 6pm. She checked my baby's heartbeat with the Doppler and found it right away but still said I should go to A n E . Off I went to A n E, I was in so much pain by then. I got given the emergency care tag at 7pm. Even with that, it took them two hours to call my name. Another one hour to ask questions and collect urine samples. By then i was already bleeding. I finally got moved to A n E majors after 3 hours. I was given a bed with DRIED blood on the bed handles. My husband noticed it immediately. It took another hour for a gynaecologist to come around. By then, I was battling not to give birth to my child on my own. I would hold in my contractions with all my strength. The gynaecologist looked and said my baby was on her way and I should be transferred to labour world. That took another 45 mins! I gave birth to my Angel within 20 mins of getting to Labour world at midnight. The midwife that helped me with delivering my baby at Labour world was great. As a first time mum, I didn't recognise the signs of contractions, I felt I should have been advised better by the midwife I spoke with. She asked me if I was an over anxious first time mum and I felt a bit ridiculous for bothering her. I can't help but feel angry at the care I got. The dried blood on the handle of the bed was appalling. My husband mentioned it to the gynaecologist and she called a male staff to wipe it clean. When I do get pregnant again, I will be requesting my GP refer me to St Georges Hospital. It will take me an 1hr to get there but if it means that I will get better care, then I am willing to make that sacrifice.

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Response from Graham Richardson, Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

I am so sorry to learn of your sad story and offer you and your husband my sincere condolences. It is clear that you had a very distressing experience in our Accident and Emercency Department and whilst I will make sure that your comments are passed on to the department, I would like to ensure that we investigate what happened and provide you with a full explanation and any further support you and your husband need. Please contact me on 020 8401 3000 ext 5990 or at graham.richardson@croydonhealth.nhs.uk.

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