"My Miscarriage"

About: Victoria Hospital / Accident & Emergency Victoria Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

I had a miscarriage a few weeks ago and was treated at the Victoria hospital in Kirkcaldy.

My miscarriage started on a Monday, I was sitting watching TV when I felt the first big gush of blood and the contractions starting. As this was my first pregnancy I wasn't sure on what you did when you thought you where having a miscarriage and it was out of hours so I couldn't just go to the maternity clinic. I phoned NHS 24 who told me to go straight to A&E, and that they would let them know I was on my way and why.

When I arrived at A&E with my husband, the contractions where coming fast and strong, the blood just kept coming, my trousers where soaked in blood and as you can imagine I was rather upset. I got to the desk said who sent me etc and got told to take a seat! ! Now I know their isn't much you can do to stop a miscarriage, and I know hospitals are very busy and short staff as I work in one myself. But I took a seat in a waiting area full of people that needed stitches in their fingers and X-Ray on their foot. After waiting for over two hours I finally got called only to get a nurse that tole me they didn't know what they could do for me.

They phoned maternity to ask them if they would do a scan on me tonight, again only for the nurse to say to the person on the phone that I need to be seen and that they can't do anything for me here. My husband and I went round to maternity at around 11 at night, only to be told that we can't come in. I told the member off staff I had been told to come here by A&E, but it still took another good few minutes before they finally let us in.

We got upto the maternity ward to find no members of staff, we finally found one only to be told to sit there and that they hope I know I'm in for a wait to see the doctor.

Not one member of staff up to this point offered to let me get cleaned up, and I was soaked in blood! Having to sit on my coat cause the blood was through my trousers.

Midnight came and a midwife said come through and we will check your blood pressure. Then the doctor arrived to do my scan, the doctor took us into a room and I explained what had happened, so they said we shall do an ultrasound scan to see what's happening. Before they started they informed my husband and I they didn’t really know how to work the machine, so I would need to come back tomorrow as what they told us would need to be confirmed by someone who knows how to work it.

They told me there was nothing there, come back tomorrow and that we could go.

I know miscarriage's are very common these days and they must see loads every day, but that was my first pregnancy, my first baby and my first loss. That night in Victoria Hospital I felt like not one member of staff cared! When I came back on Tuesday I got a scan and was told I needed to come back in a weeks time for another scan, the following day I came back bleeding heavily I ended up needing emergency surgery due to the amount of blood I lost and because the pregnancy wasn't coming away naturally.

I can't believe that that is how the maternity unit treat their patients. For them it might have been the 10th miscarriage patient they had seen today, but that was my baby. I know am not the first and certainly not the last but someone has just lost their baby, wether it was their first, second or one of many, that was still someone's baby, should that person not get some good patient care at a time of loss?

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Response from Donna Hughes, Patient Relations Team Coordinator, Patient Relations, NHS Fife

Dear AJ15

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience which was very sad to read. I am sorry that your pregnancy ended and cannot begin to imagine how difficult this must have been for you. At times like this support from staff is so important and I am really sorry that you had no sense of this from staff.

Posting a story like this is brave and it gives us an opportunity to share your experience with staff working in the department. The Head of Midwifery Service is very keen to discuss your story further and would be eager to meet with you. If you feel this is acceptable, can you please contact me at Patient Relation 01592 648153 so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Donna Hughes

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Update posted by AJ15 (the patient)

I have heard many stories since I had mine from couples who felt like Maternity at Victoria didn't care about their loss. With the amount of women having miscarriages these days I feel they should know exactly what couples need at the time of loss. Just cause you can't see that baby doesn't mean it shouldn't be treated as a death.

Miscarriages happen all day, at anytime during the day. Therefore why don't they have someone working all the time that knows how to work an ultrasound properly?

I work in the Victoria myself and I would have normally said something to a member of staff if I didn't think they where giving good care but my head was all over the place that night.

I just hope that the next time I need maternity I get better care.

Response from Donna Hughes, Patient Relations Team Coordinator, Patient Relations, NHS Fife

I am really sorry you didn’t find our first response helpful. I really didn’t mean to cause you any further distress when you are already upset over the loss of your baby and the lack of support you received from us.

I’ve re read my first response and realise I could have been clearer about what we will be doing with your story. We will be sharing your story with our staff and using it to review our practical and emotional support to women experiencing miscarriage and their families. We will let you know the outcome of this.

If you feel it would be helpful, Cath Cumming our Head of Midwifery would be keen to speak and meet with you. If you feel able to contact us please call Patient Relations, 01592 648153 and we can arrange a time which suits you.

I hope this response feels more helpful but if it doesn’t please do let me know.

Thanks and best wishes


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