"Miscarriage at Newham"

About: Newham General Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

In late January 2013 I was 22 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I woke up to use the loo and get ready for work, only to feel a gush of fluid down below. Being a first time pregnant woman, I alerted my husband who immediately told me to phone the midwife number I was given.

I was told by them to call an ambulance and come in immediately. The ambulance person asked a whole set of questions and when they found out that I wasn't bleeding or unconscious they said that they would call us back. Can you imagine being in a panic and being told by the ambulance staff that they will call you back?

An hour and 20 minutes later the ambulance arrived and took me to Newham General hospital. I was in early labour, and came to Newham general hospital. I arrived at 7:40 am and was immediately attended to by a midwife who took baby's heart beat, my pressure and a urine sample.

I wasn't seen by the doctor until 12:30 that afternoon. The doctor checked my vaginal area and said that it was just discharge and sent me home. I was told that tests would be conducted on the 'discharge sample' and I would be notified what was wrong in a week, but if the leaking continued to come back in. I also had an infection but was given no antibiotics on this first day.

The next morning I returned to the hospital because the leaking continued. I waited for 4 hours to be seen by a doctor. It turned out to be the same doctor that I had seen the day before.

He asked me 'have I not seen you before?' I stated that I was there yesterday but the leaking had continued so I came back as told. He then proceeded to tell me that my baby was not 24 weeks as yet, and because of that there was nothing he could do for me. He stated that if I was 24 weeks pregnant I would be allowed to get steroids but because I was only 22 weeks and 6 days his hands were tied (these were his exact words.)

He did no further checks on me to see whether I was indeed releasing fluid. He also did not ask to use a baby monitor device to check my baby, or what was happening in my womb.

I was admitted to the hospital anyway, because I had a fluctuating fever and placed on antibiotics to treat the very bad infection I found out I had. I then started to bleed but it was not ranked as being serious because it was not a very very heavy flow.

It is strange how I was asked so many times whether I was bleeding but when I finally did start to bleed it was dismissed as being not as serious. With all this, I still was not checked in my vaginal area.

I had to wait a while for a bed, and also the antibiotics drip needle to be inserted into my veins. At some point I thought that I was forgotten about because a midwife had not been in to see me for so long. I was never checked to see whether I was in labour or if my cervix was opening.

I began experiencing pains that same Friday while waiting for the doctor, and was told it was because of the urine infection. I have had a urine infection before but never this bad or so I thought. The pain around my stomach and back continued to intensify. The baby's heartbeat was checked regularly with a Doppler device but not the other machine. The service was lacking.

As a first time mother I had no idea what was happening and the midwives were not as informative as I expected them to be. In fact some of them were very brash. I was given paracetamol for my pain and then codeine. Blood test was carried out and that proved that I had a kidney infection.

The next day at 11:20 pm a midwife came to check my baby's heartbeat and I was still in intense pain and still being told that it was due to the urine infection. I asked to use the toilet before she checked me, and my son was born in the toilet. I was later told that my son did not make it as his lungs were too just too small. Later I found out that in their report the said that my son was born with no signs of life, after being told that he was breathing when he was born. I gave birth in a toilet with my son hanging in the toilet bowl.

I feel that I was not properly monitored for the time that I was in the hospital. If I was there is no way my baby would have been born in a toilet bowl. As a first time parent I expected more care to be taken in dealing with me. The staff were at times discourteous and insensitive and I ended with a major loss in the end. I am disappointed in the service I received at Newham General Hospital and feel that someone needs to be accountable for what has happened.

I did every thing I could as a parent to ensure I was where I needed to be, yet the people who were meant to protect me and care for me, treated me badly. I feel that if they are dissatisfied within their job they should leave because it is basically a matter of life or death and in this case my baby boy paid for it with his life.

The after care service has been no better and I have been the one chasing the hospital about funeral times and everything else. I feel angry, and disappointed and let down by a service that is meant to be about the best patient care.

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