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Midwife made we walk after an epidural

(40 Posts)
TSK Wed 27-Jul-11 17:41:13

I had a good delivery of our baby number 2, a few complications (episiotomy etc) in theatre lead to baby and I being transferred to the High Dependancy Unit, whilst hubby was sent home at 2am in the morning. This is where my nightmare began, I asked for pain relief and a midwife (M1) gave me an epiduaral top up, I was also at this time aneamic, dizzy with low blood pressure and shaking with sleep deprivation (5 days slow labour).

she then about an hour later told me I was leaving and told me to get up and walk to a wheelchair and could I suck up my sanitary towel too as she did not want to clean up a red mess behind me. My senses were numb but I did as I was told as I trusted her judgement as my carer in this vulnerable state. My legs were jelly, I had no feeling (due to the epidural top up) and I fell onto the floor near the wheelchair(she was laughing at me when this happened)...I was then made to carry my baby and nearly dropped him too....thereafter followed a catalogue of abuse and errors to follow from 3 seperate midwifes resulting in no care for baby and my being left in a soiled bed of blood and urine for 4 hours.

It has taken me many months to come to terms with the trauma of what they did to us, i have finally summoned the courage to make a formal complaint and they (supervisors) have offered me a meeting, however M1 failed to take adequate notes and the hospital are denying that she gave me an epidural top up in HDU unit (according to the notes she completed) what do i do, it is my word against M1's and I feel this denial is adding insult to injury...why did she deliberatley numb my legs and want to watch me fall ??!! my worry is that this woman will continue to be let loose on other vulnerable mothers and may result in harm or even a fatality. Advice please?

poppy283 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:48:15

That's awful, of course yanbu. I can't offer much advice other than to keep at it, just wanted to offer some words of support. It's not right that you were treated in that way, you didn't deserve that.
If you fell in her care that's surely the midwife's responsibility, no matter the exact dose of epidural?

tulpe Wed 27-Jul-11 17:51:32

Sounds as if you might be wise to take legal advice, tbh.

I am sorry that you have had this experience. Sounds awful and UANBU to want to take this further.

belledechocchipcookie Wed 27-Jul-11 17:52:04

This is terrible, you poor thing. I think that you need to seek legal advice here.

titihood Wed 27-Jul-11 17:59:18

I am so sorry to hear about your traumatic experience TSK. I have a friend who had a similar experience though she had not received an epidural top-up, but was about 40 mins after she gave birth (was a very long and exhausting labour, with pain relief).
Think you should seek legal advice too. Is there someone to support you (emotionally etc.) before/during/after the meeting with the hospital supervisors? If you belong to any Mum's groups in your area you could do a tentative look into whether other women have been treated the same way - you never know, they may be too upset and traumatized to speak about it.
Good luck!

TSK Wed 27-Jul-11 18:32:27

thank you for your kind words everyone, it has been hard to even speak about it, but friends and family have given me the strenghth totake this forward. I think the issue with legal position is about absolute proof of negligence, the medical notes are key to this, if she (M1) did not complete them accuratley then it means ironically i can not prove she did this to me. Given the current climate of nurses and saline bags cases, i wonder what the hospital will say about epidural sign off records.

The problem is late at night (with no hubby to fight my corner, I was left at their mercy), these three midwives were acting like god, they were a law onto themselves and no one was there to check on them, bring back the matrons and spot checks on wards I say!......I am still very sad sad

InstantAtom Wed 27-Jul-11 18:41:21


LillyTheMinx Wed 27-Jul-11 18:51:16

That's awful TSK. I really hope you can sort this out. I can't offer any advice really, but just wanted to show my support.

LillyTheMinx Wed 27-Jul-11 18:54:25

Even though there is no evidence of the epidural top-up, she still made you walk unaided and you were left in a soiled bed.

x2boys Wed 27-Jul-11 19:07:49

your experience was terrible and there is another thread about the terrible care lots of women received postnatally but to clarify they brought matrons back a number of years ago and they am afraid just another tier of management and no real use whatsoever in my opinion the whole of the nhs is a shambolic system and needs a complete overhaul [ speaking as a frontline worker] but the midwife would of had to document somewhere she had given you a epidural topup as a dr would have had to prescribe it

MightyQuim Wed 27-Jul-11 19:08:02

The same thing happened to me after my epidural. Although the mw didn't laugh - she rushed to get some people to help me into a wheelchair and I was wheeled to the ward with dd on my knee.
I did think it was off that I hadn't even been warned I might be numb cos obviously I would have tried to stand a bit more cautiously and/or dh would have helped me up but had my midwife had the attitude of yours I would have definitely complained. YANBU at all.

MightyQuim Wed 27-Jul-11 19:11:16

Also meant to say that my epidural had been allowed to wear off so I could feel contractions and a whopping great tear and I still had no feeling in my legs so you may have been the same without the top up.

TheArmadillo Wed 27-Jul-11 19:25:54

I would get legal advice even without the proof that she gave you the epidural. A lawyer would know how to or be able to find out how to get other evidence - e.g. a register showing the drugs were signed out. Also even without that you were still treated badly enough to make it worth getting advice. And even if you don't take it forward then at least you can know your position.

FWIW when I was in hospital (both times) we were not allowed to carry the babies - they had to be pushed around in those plastic cots on wheels. It may be worth seeing if your hospital had a similar policy.

TheArmadillo Wed 27-Jul-11 19:29:30

Also even without the top up it can take hours and hours for an epidural to wear off well enough to walk, plus weakness after giving birth (measurably with the anaemia nd low blood pressure) means regardless she should have been very careful making you stand - giving you support even if she decided you were well enough to do it so you shouldn't have fallen.

You really do need legal advice

giveitago Wed 27-Jul-11 19:48:15

OP - that's awful.

I didn't have your birth but had a similarly horrible experience with both the antenatal ward and the post natal ward. 5 years on I've made it out to be nothing but actually it did put my then unborn baby at risk and the internal I was given has affected me psychologically and physically even now but I made no complaint as I was just hugely grateful ds was born.

There's alot about the state of our maternity units and you should continue to add your voice, loudly as you need if it helps you come to terms with this awful 'care'. Wish I had.

You experienced what you did and they need to take responsibility and ensure it never happens again.

I wish you the best of everything.

gateacre1 Wed 27-Jul-11 19:54:07

OP have you seen the traumatic birth association website
they have numbers you can call for free counselling and advice
I am very sorry that you had to go through this experience
Hope you have lots of emotional support at home and from friends
I hear too many stories about midwifes ticking boxes in notes to say that they have checked on the patient at a certain point and they havent. Or not recording important information in the notes
( my notes said that the risks of instrumental delivery to me and baby were explained to me before the procedure- this was not true )

Hope you get some answers take care

JillyArmeen Wed 27-Jul-11 20:25:08

so awful. i also had a terrible experience, never complained as i was just so grateful my ds was born healthy and not to end up with PND considering i was depressed whilst pregnant. after 48 hours in slow labour i had an epidural in a room with a light that kept going out whilst being informed my midwife hadnt had a break for 8 hours asif i was supposed to care!? downhill from there as the next midwife couldnt work the bed to make me comfy, or the drip with the hormone to open my cervix. after 3 hours ended up with a temperature so high i passing out and needed an emergency Csection. back on the ward just a general lack of respect all staff leaving the curtain open 1 person even told me i shouldnt hold my baby so much! same problem with drugs not being signed off, not telling me what i was taking and was nearly given the blood thinning injection twice in 1 day until i pointed it out. coulnt wait to get home to some privacy but felt like i was being held hostage, the woman opposite wanted to stay but they were rushing her out. when i did get home had an infection in my cut as a wasnt given enough antibiotics. no help with breastfeeding even when i asked for it, all in all very traumatic experience.

edwinbear Wed 27-Jul-11 21:57:33

I got a copy of my notes after a traumatic birth with DS. The inconsistencies were shocking, for example, according to my notes they took one attempt to site my epidural, (it was 3), DS had no forceps trauma, (he had a massive bruise and cut on his eyebrow clearly visible on photos), they started my syntocin drip at 7.30pm (they forgot to turn it on until 9.30pm) and so on, and so on. I wonder if there are any other inaccuracies in your notes that can be proved to help you show that they didn't make accurate notes?

nojustificationneeded Wed 27-Jul-11 22:03:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NorfolkBroad Wed 27-Jul-11 22:11:51

Feel so bad for you TSk. I think you are really courageous in making your complaint and sharing your experience. I had a hideous time when I had dd. My mum who was with me at the time still finds it too traumatic to talk about and I literally feel ill when I think about it. I don't want to go into details but like with you it was the completely uncaring, almost bullying, dismissive attitude of some of the staff that really made the experience So much more awful. I know I ought to have complained but I felt so vulnerable and had horrible PND, wish i had though. I think you are definitely doing the right thing. That particular midwife that you mentioned will be asked about what happened that night and if nothing else it will make her more aware of the way she is treating other women in the future.

chateauferret Wed 27-Jul-11 23:49:41

Complain to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

scottishmummy Thu 28-Jul-11 00:10:15

absolutely dreadful. so sorry you endured that.complain in writing can help you make complaint

written letter to chief exec and clinical governance. keep copies stay calm ,non emotive language.clearly document complaint with dates

avoid inflammatory statements or posting on internet naming and shaming at the moment. wait upon responses

ask if any Incident form Ir1 IR1 completed this has to go to clinical governance so gets read.

ak for copies of your medical notes, they have to let you access.dont be fobbed off. access to notes - if you write to Medical records Dept to request and state reason.they may charge a fee.PALS (patient Advisory Laiasion service) can also help you phone and book appt

be prepared you might find it uncomfortable,could someone go with you they will contain medical abbreviations/results you

you can see them at hospital or photocopies posted to you. may take number of weeks to process

ask PALS to support you

scottishmummy Thu 28-Jul-11 00:14:39

PALS link complaints

Punkatheart Thu 28-Jul-11 00:17:30

I am so so sorry that you had to suffer this. All good advice given - all I can give you is a hug. I really hope that you get over this if there some justice done. This should not happen at your most vulnerable time.

scottishmummy Thu 28-Jul-11 00:21:25

also consider a birth debrief and support

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