"Shock Treatment at Antenatal Scan"

About: Manor Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

On Monday 22nd June 2009 my partner Aaron, father of our baby, and I went for our first antenatal scan at Manor Hospital Walsall. We we're both very excited anticipating seeing our baby or babies for the first time. As there is a strong line of twins in Aaron's family we were hopeful that we might have more than one healthy baby to look forward too.

On arrival at the unit the receptionist's were very helpful and after some initial problems with duplicate notes and misspelling my name, we were sent through to a busy waiting room.

Our first meeting with a nurse was very business like and her first comment to us was how busy it was that day. We had my BP taken and I gave her my urine sample, she asked if we had any questions, which at this time we didn't. She told us that next we would have a scan and then see the doctor.

We waited for the scan which didn't take more than a ten or fifteen minutes. I read the sign on the toilet door and knew not to empty my bladder until after the scan. It might have helpful to have this information given again before this to allow me the opportunity to drink more before our scan.

We went into the scan room and two ladies greeted us and checked my details. The scan started and we were shown the top of our babies head and heart beat, she told us that we were 14 weeks and 4 days pregnant. She asked if I had a full bladder and how much I'd drunk. We told her I'd had about a litre of water, and she commented that she couldn't get a clear picture.

The scan continued and I said that I couldn't see anything, although I did briefly glimpse our babies face. She told us that she was scanning in sections as she couldn't get a clear picture, and carried on whizzing over my stomach.

Then she told us that she had seen something she wasn't happy with and she wanted someone to check, and was this OK. We were both in shock and agreed for someone else to come in.

Both ladies left the room at this point and we were left on our own shocked and bewildered. It felt like a long time, although it probably was only five minutes or so.

Another lady came in and said that the first lady had explained there was something she wasn't happy with and was it OK for her to have a look. They continued scanning our baby and talking to each other, they told us that there was fluid on the babies neck and abdomen and that they were really sorry and 'it's not good'. Then left us saying that doctor would explain.

We were then left alone again Aaron trying to console me as best he could.

We were taken into a side room and left alone waiting for the doctor. After ten or fifteen minutes, which felt like an eternity with the clock ticking, I went to ask someone if the doctor was available.

Mr Head was the first human face we saw. Until then we felt as though we were in a busy cattle market and nobody had time for us.

Mr Head asked who Aaron was and although I couldn't speak at least for the first time we were seen as a couple, this is our baby not just mine.

Mr Head explained what had gone on although at first he thought we knew more than we did and went to check. He explained all the possibilities and what would happen next.

An appointment was arranged for Birmingham's Womens Hospital and another scan and further tests would be needed. We are aware that whatever the ladies saw on our babies scan is very rare, but this does not excuse a basic lack of communication skills. We don't understand why both ladies had to leave to ask for someone to check the scan?

After Mr Head had spent a lot of time and care with us. Myra a midwife then came into take my bloods and was a breath of fresh air.

We would like to Thank Mr Head and Myra for treating us as we would hope to be treated, although we would not wish another couple to go through this experience, as we did.

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Response from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust


Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I'm sorry to read about your experience at the Trust. It's not how we expect patients who have been treated with us to feel. I know that this happened some time a go and I'm sorry that we didn't respond at the time. I'm glad however that you did feel some reassurance from Mr Head and hope that your experience did continue to improve.

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