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Are people aware of the dangers of ECV?

(86 Posts)
himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 15:54:21

I want to warn people that it's not safe and could result in death and not worth the risk x

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 17:37:47

Hi, I'd like to share my story with you also. I did a search for deaths due to ecv on google and your forum came up. I'm not a mum though I'm a husband.

Basically, we had an ecv carried out and soon after our babies movements slowed down. We thought it was due to the fact that his head was engaged and we weren't told to look out for any signs afterwards like this. We went in for a scan and their faces dropped as they couldn't find out babies heartbeat. It was like a horror film unrolling before our eyes. My wife then had to be induced and 3 days later she gave birth to our beautiful little son (Shai). His placenta was so tight around his neck that they had to cut it off and because of this the birth took hours as he just wouldn't come down without being yanked out forcefully with forceps.

We had a postmortem carried out and they said that there was sins of Chronic Hystiocytic Intervillositis in the placenta (a very rare ckndi

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 17:43:01

Sorry that sent before I could finish.

A very rare condition that makes you body attack the placenta like its a foreign body. However, we've since been to a CHI specialist and they've told us that it wasn't really the cause of death and said it pointed towards the ECV as the cause instead. When performing the ECV they forcefully tried turning our baby at least 3 times and our baby didn't budge. They tried once more and he turned. It seemed a very brutal procedure at the time as so much force was involved to turn him they (the consultant) were shaking with the effort.

I don't think they had a good idea of the location if the placenta prior to the turning and putting my wife on a monitor for half an hour just didn't seem enough.

Please think through this before you think about getting an ECV done.

MrsAmaretto Thu 24-Jan-13 18:13:19

I'm sorry for your loss.

I had an ECV, had the risks explained, was scanned before, during & after the procedure and was given stats by the consultant on his "success rate", how many he does in a month and how many years he'd been doing so (30+) .

Without clear facts pertaining to a specific unit/hospital/ consultant you can not make an informed decision. Likewise I've asked similar questions relating to breech vaginal birth, VBAC & homebirths.

We all hope & pray we don't become the tiny percentage where things go devastatingly wrong.

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 18:34:44

I pray that no one else has to go through this ordeal also.
It made it worse the fact that we'd been trying to co Clive for 10 years and now probably won't have the luck for it to happen again. We adopted a beautiful little boy who we adore so we have to count our blessings.

This video shows a normal ECV. When compared to our one the force used was about 20 times more. It was like they had to dig their knees to get leverage and sweat was coming off their foreheads. This video is how it's supposed to be: youtu.be/6AM6wDwTjmc

shai080512 Thu 24-Jan-13 18:37:46

That was supposed to say conceive-iPhones and this forum don't mix

chloeb2002 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:32:10

I think i is a very personal decision. You need to trust your obs. My last bub was breech and 83rd centile and i had a spontaneous aph in my first pregnancy and was trying for a vbac ( they can happen at any time even during delivery for no known reason) It was decided i had too many risk actors to under go an ecv. Current bub is also breech and again it will not be offered. However i do know other women it has worked well for and it can be a beneficial tool.

lovemybabyboy Thu 24-Jan-13 22:44:21

I am so sorry himynameisfred sad

But thank you for sharing your story, I had never heard the dangers of this procedure before and reading this could potentially save another persons baby.

shai080512 Fri 25-Jan-13 09:19:18

I think you hit the nail on the head. I reckon they're doing this to save money and reduce the amounts of c-sections performed. Also each c-section takes up at around 12-15 staff to perform in total and an ecv 1-2.

weeblueberry Fri 25-Jan-13 16:48:24

I'm so sorry for what happened with Angel himynameisfred. Utter tragedy. sad

I admit this thread has opened my eyes to how dangerous this procedure is and I would definitely add it to my 'things to read up on' list prior to labour. Its such a scary time because you cannot know about literally everything so have to trust your midwife. But when you hear such scary statistics it really makes you think.

duchesse Sun 03-Mar-13 00:39:22

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dd, fred.

My DH's colleague recently had an ECV to turn her baby that was predicted to be 4lbs at birth on the scans (hence suspected IUGR as well). Very sensibly the baby refused to budge and was born by CS two days ago weighing 5lbs 12 at 39 weeks (DH's colleague is tiny). When DH came home saying they were going in for ECV my heart sank for them. Luckily everything went well in the end.

I agree with you that it is not safe. I did a lot of reading up about it in the 90s when friends were having breech babies and it according to the research available at the time it was rather risky. Maybe it was a better option back when surgery was much more risky but it just makes no sense now. I am amazed they are doing so many of them.

Maybe there's a physical reason why some babies prefer to be head up? Maybe instead of trying to normalise foetal position they could try to work out why some babies stay head up? It's not going to be by accident. I think we shouldn't be tampering with that.

HopeTulips Fri 05-Apr-13 05:52:07

Hi there
For those who have shared their experiences thank you very much. After three miscarriages am on my 4th pregnancy at almost 37 weeks and have a breech baby. From 32 weeks he has been breech so its no shock. Yesterday we were scanned again and prior to going to meet the consultant I had completely made up my mind to go for a c section. However yesterday they really tried to change my mind and make an ecv sound appealing and incredibly safe. I got so confused, but still booked a c section for the 22nd April with the option of calling up this morning and booking an ecv for next week. Considering I had wished for a natural birth its been really tough. However reading this has helped me realise that I really need to be strong and follow my instinct and go with the c section. Of course I am nervous of the risks but I don't know if I could put my baby through an attempted turning now, so feel the best decision has been made.

VeganCow Fri 05-Apr-13 11:38:09

Hoping my story might help anyone deciding what to do with their breech baby, although I know every birth is different.

I had my 2nd baby, breech, turned by a VERY experienced consultant. I was given the choice at the time of a planned caeserean section, breech birth or ECV, and I went with the consultants suggestion of ECV.
I was scanned before, and after the procedure which I found uncomfortable but only took around a minute. Baby stayed in correct position. I was 37 weeks.

However, I am almost certain that this procedure resulted in an awful full labour followed by emergency section at 40+ weeks. I went into labour naturally but there was meconium as waters broke and baby was stressed throughout labour. Lack of oxygen resulted in the ECS.

Thankfully all was ok in the end, but with hindsight I wish I had kept things as nature intended and gone for a breech birth.

Andcake Fri 05-Apr-13 11:48:12

Hi
Sorry for people's losses and bad experiences. I had a breech baby and was offered ecv but after researching especially a lot of people in the us who felt it had contributed to problems chose a cs instead. I felt it just wasn't worth the risk as this was a much longed for baby. I think a lot of pressure is put on women to have vbac but in my mind I didn't care how the baby came out as long as it was alive and well. We had been told I only had a 1% chance of conceiving so it wasn't worth the risk.

Sunnysummer Fri 05-Apr-13 12:13:23

This sounds awful and I am so sorry for your loss.

In terms of other people changing their minds, though, are we concerned that while statistics can be dodgy, one anecdote is even less likely to be reliable? If ECV has a 0.5% complication rate, then that does imply that 1 in 200 outcomes will be a sad one... But c-sections and breech births also come with risks, and there are some very stories here too. It's a very difficult decision to make, and statistics and expert opinions can help to make that choice.

So sorry for your loss. I wouldn't have an ECV because of the risks. My daughter was stillborn at 37 weeks just over 2 years ago and she was breach. As she was already dead I allowed them to try to turn her. It didn't work and I was induced and she was born breach. It was almost a section though as her foot got stuck inside me. The ECV was also painful and I could never have let them to one if my baby was alive.

Manchesterhistorygirl Fri 05-Apr-13 12:22:45

Ds1 was breech and my consultant refused to perform an ecv because it was too dangerous and elcs was the safer option.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

greatscott81 Fri 05-Apr-13 12:28:13

I am 38 weeks pregnant and my baby was discovered to be breech yesterday (this is despite my midwife telling me unreservedly that the baby's head was engaged and I was all set for a natural birth). They offered me an ECV to take place this morning at 8.30am. The registrar was very nice but quite persuasive and it wasn't until I got home that I realised I really didn't feel comfortable with the procedure. With a mere 30% success rate and the bulk of personal experiences I have heard from friends being highly unfavourable I didn't feel I could go through with it. I got the impression from the NHS staff that I was doing the wrong thing which I don't think is reasonable (particularly as I'd only had the news that day and was feeling very emotional and stressed).

The fact that my baby's bottom is engaged means it would be even harder to turn and the baby has been in the same position for about 7 weeks now so I can't imagine this would have been successful. It seems like a risky procedure and I'm very glad I've declined.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 12:36:33

Thank you for posting this OP, and thanks everyone else who have shared their stories too. I'm due my second next month and have never heard of this. I've searched for some information on google but can't find much, what is involved when they are carried out?

weeblueberry Fri 05-Apr-13 12:47:18

Although I'm fairly sure BabyBlueberry is engaged now, I did read this topic about 2 weeks ago when it was fairly certain she was breech. After doing my own research I decided if she stayed feet down that I would decline an ECV. If this is the case, and the baby is breech, are you entitled to an ELCS? Or can they encourage a natural breech birth (which I wouldn't want either?).

Am hoping next midwife visit confirms she's head down but am curious just in case. Is breech a failsafe reason for getting an ELCS?

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 13:11:01

I must have been typing the wrong thing into google, I've now found information on it.

Nicolels Fri 15-Nov-13 23:47:45

I had an ECV at 37 weeks. I read the leaflet given and after reading the leaflet on it, decided it sounded fairly straight forward. I went in in the morning without any of my hospital stuff. We were meant to be going out for dinner that night for my mother-in-laws birthday. It was only last minute I decided not to drive in (my partner didn't drive at the time) and got my sister-in-law to take us in. They did a scan before and during the procedure. It was incredibly painful and I had no pain relief. Halfway through they stopped because I suddenly felt very faint. I remember feeling very strange. Whilst they stopped they rechecked the baby's heartbeat. The next bit is all a blur. I remember the two drs looking at each other in panic. I remember being told I needed to go for a c-section right away. I was wheeled down the corridor, my clothes pulled off me as I was pushed along. I vividly remember asking them not to let my baby die and the look on the woman dr's face who didn't even respond. I can remember how much I was shaking, the anaesthetist was stroking my hair to try calm me down as he was putting me to sleep. I don't remember the alarms going off but they must of as everyone came running with us down to theatre. My partner was kept outside and wasn't told anything. They had six minutes roughly to get me from the room I was in, put me to sleep and get my daughter out. By some miracle she survived with no problems whatsoever. The cord had got wrapped round her body and neck twice. I'm so grateful she survived but it had terrible knock on effects. The day she was born was the worst day of my life. I had vivid flashbacks for the next 6 months after and suffered from post natal depression that still to this day, although I am now ok, I've hardly even spoken to my partner about.

kiwiscantfly Sat 16-Nov-13 04:57:46

I had one attempt at an ECV and it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced, and I had the gas and air! It didn't work and afterwards while I was crying with pain the consultant was quite sheepish and said I must have strong stomach muscles and the baby was firmly stuck. My baby was fine and two weeks later she was born with a very relaxing ELCS. I would never recommend them!

LittlePeaPod Sat 16-Nov-13 10:12:39

I am so so sorry for your loss Op. [Flowers] My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your experience. It has strengthened my resolve that an ELCS is the right choice for our baby. Thank you for that.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 16-Nov-13 23:16:49

My baby is currently transverse.

I wouldn't consider ECV but after reading this thread I feel totally justified in my decision.

Just want to send my condolences and sympathies to all the parents who lost their babies.

my baby was oblique until 35 weeks and midwife started talking about ecv.
luckily she is now head down but I would have refused ecv.

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