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AIBU To expect an apology from the Hospital?

(25 Posts)
SonographerProblems Thu 23-Jun-16 09:13:11

NC for this thread, as potentially identifying.

I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant and stuck have been stuck in hospital for 2 days.
At my 27 week growth scan the sonographer marked my notes as my placenta placement as 'Praevia' meaning it was covering my cervix. This condition can be extremely dangerous and as it was marked as a full covering it would have meant needing a C-Section.
There was no mention of this during my scan, nor afterwards. She just handed my notes back and said; 'All fine.' (That was literally it) confused

I went for my midwife app the next day, and she was horrified to see the scan write up, and immediately warned me of all the dangers, told me I couldn't do any physical activity, that any tiny amount of spotting meant urgent medical attention, and that I'd more than likely be having a c-section. (I should say, where the placenta placement was mentioned on the notes, it had been circled by the sonographer but nothing else added)

Anyway! Queue 4 very long and worrisome weeks where any slight bit of discharge had me running to the bathroom thinking I was bleeding out.
Then on Tuesday, baby movement weren't great and I was taken into hospital. And kept in because of what my notes said about my placenta.
Yesterday, I had a scan again to check on baby's growth and make sure that he could be safely delivered if needed (I'd been given steroid shots already)
This is where it gets tricky! Sonographer looked at my notes, looked at my previous scan pictures and started laughing hmm She said there had clearly been a misunderstanding, that my placenta looked to be clear of my cervix, and the pictures from the last scan looked like that too!
She scanned me, whilst I started silently fuming. I then queried how something like this could happen, and she said; 'Oh human error! We have to choose the placement from drop down boxes, we've obviously just chosen the wrong box last time. Doctors should have called us, we would have told them it was wrong!'

I've now managed to pick up an infection in hospital, so I've been kept in for even longer on fluids and antibiotics angry

So my question is, AIBU to;
1) Expect an apology for 4 weeks of dreadful anxiety and bed rest, missing out on time with my other DS as I was so paranoid about causing a placenta rupture.
2). Find it ridiculous that a Doctor should have to check another medical professionals write up of a scan? Like, surely if they had to do that every time it'd be a time consuming nightmare?!

Completely prepared to be told I ABU as pregnancy hormones are rampant, but i just feel so terrified! Whilst I'm completely over the moon that my pregnancy is not life threatening to me or baby, I'm so paranoid! What if they've got it wrong again? I'm suddenly scared of labour in case I bleed out, and I just generally don't feel completely trustful of the people looking after me sad

icklekid Thu 23-Jun-16 09:16:57

I can totally understand your frustration however think that human error sadly does happen. I don't think they have got it wrong this time as fits with what sonographer says first time that everything is fine. Try and focus in that now and hope the rest of your pregnancy is stress free. Did the 2nd sonographer not even say sorry for the mix up?

flanjabelle Thu 23-Jun-16 09:18:43

Yanbu. You poor thing. I know error happens, but you have really been through the mill and I think it needs pointing out. Hopefully it will prompt them to be more careful in future.

SonographerProblems Thu 23-Jun-16 09:48:59

Nope, no apology from the second sonographer, she was actually really dismissive! I just dread to think if a lady really did have the placenta in that placement, and they ticked the wrong box saying it was okay! Doctors and midwives rely on that information for how they choose delivery methods, it just seems absurd to me that they don't double check their work, I feel really scared about their care standards tbh

Babyroobs Thu 23-Jun-16 09:57:19

YANBU to expect an apology over somrthing which has caued you such a lot of anxiety. I guess it is better than it being the other way round and someone not being made aware they were at risk when they were, but even so it has been awful for you. having worked in the NHS for many years I am all too aware how seemingly small mistakes/ miscommunications can go on to have huge consequences and it is very scary. A momentary forgetfulness over something or a moment's lack of concentration can have serious consequences. It scares me to death every day in my job. I hope you receive the apology you deserve.

OutsiderInTheGarden Thu 23-Jun-16 09:58:10

Human error. Horrible for you, but please try to be understanding. I'm sure errors are made in whatever line of work you're in too. The sonographers workload is probably insanely high, they're probably more tired than they would ideally be. I would try to focus on the positive news and how lucky we are to even have the NHS. I certainly would not expect to have any kind of apology, and I fail to see how this would make anything better anyway. Try and move on and enjoy the remainder of your pregnancy.

WreckingBallsInsideMyHead Thu 23-Jun-16 10:05:31

Yanbu to expect an apology

Yes errors happen in my line of work, when they do, we apologise and put them right!

Obviously no one can take back the anxiety and hospital acquired bug from the OP but I think she's certainly entitled to an apology! She's not threatening to sue like several threads I've seen here lately! Just an acknowledgement of the mistake and an alllogy

malvinandhobbes Thu 23-Jun-16 10:07:59

I have spent the last two days in the assessment unit because I had a terrible pain on my side, getting all sorts of tests and very inconsistent care because there were two few people tending to too many women. One person would tell me to walk, the next to sit down, one would tell me I was in premature labour, the next would tell me I was fine.

I was fine, but terribly anxious and emotional. I had to come back the next day and luckily I was feeling better and waited hours for a doctor so I understand what tests had been run the day before, why I had been given steroids, and to argue that I had been over-treated (they agreed).

I hope against hope now I can still get my home birth as my hospital experience was chaotic due to what seemed like serious under-staffing. Nothing gives me high blood pressure like being in the hospital.

Your situation is much worse, and while an apology would be nice I wouldn't waste a lot of energy fighting for one. The NHS is in very bad shape, and the people working are doing their absolute best. You will probably be happier in the long term if you can let it go, as it will take ages of formal complaining before you get that apology.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 23-Jun-16 10:09:26

The sonogroahers circled about the placenta so why wasn't that a bell to her to check as she told you all was fine?

I had a midwife not do her job and my baby nearly died. I also had a theatre stuff member not do hers so later my youngest child and I nearly died.

Medical staff have to be so careful and sometimes they fall way short of that.

diddl Thu 23-Jun-16 10:41:26

What would concern me is that "praevia" was ticked & you were allowed home??

I had this at 28wks & they wanted me to stay in.

I went home, but was told to rest & about any risks.

SonographerProblems Thu 23-Jun-16 11:12:43

Diddl Well it concerned my Midwife the next day, I didn't know what it meant! Obviously the sonographer knew my placenta was fine, just in the write up of my notes she didn't enter the correct information, which led to all this panic and worry and me being kept in hospital when I didn't need to be (3 doctors said they were happy with baby movements but couldn't send me home because of my previous scan results)
These extra days in hospital have led to me getting an infection and needing IV treatments sad

Im obviously not looking for any type of fuss, I just wish the next sonographer would have been a bit kinder and more reassuring that this type of thing didn't happen frequently, and an apology on the departments behalf would have been lovely sad

The doctors on my ward are really not happy with whats happened, I actually think they're going to speak to them themselves, so im obviously not being too unreasonable haha

2beautifulkids Thu 23-Jun-16 11:33:43

I don't think you're being unreasonable to expect one. But I do think you might need to accept that you probably won't get one.
Sorry you had to go through that flowers

diddl Thu 23-Jun-16 11:36:03

This is what I don't understand tbh.

The midwife didn't query you going home or why you hadn't been given any info about praevia & what it might mean?

I would have thought that from that it was pointing towards a "clerical" error rather than you being sent home with praevia as well as being told nothing about it!

It is you say very serious -I was spoken to by the obstetrician straight after the scan.

I'm surprised that the midwife didn't ask for clarification.

What a balls up.

Of course there should be some apology.

PurpleRainDiamondsandPearls Thu 23-Jun-16 12:03:45

Of course you are owed an apology. I know it was a human error but still, you deserve an apology and some reassurance.

Poor you. [Flowers]

cudbywestrangers Thu 23-Jun-16 12:16:11

In your shoes i would contact pals and write a letter to the hospital explaining what happened. In that letter I would request an apology and also that they review the system to avoid someone else going through the same thing. Maybe a drop down menu isn't such a good idea... they could change it to a typed entry

differentnameforthis Thu 23-Jun-16 13:01:35

I had the opposite problem. My useless midwife didn't alert me to symptoms of Pre Eclampsia. At 35+ 4 weeks, I was sent to the hospital to do 24 hour urine collection, and at the review of the urine collection (36 weeks) the consultant said "bloody hell" when the nurse told him my bp, so was kept in for induction. Dd became distressed, so needed a crash section under GA.

Apparently I was showing high bp & protein ++++ from 30 weeks. The vomiting & headaches that I complained about, she told me was normal.

My baby was 4lb when born, due to IUGR.

I would much rather have had all the worry for nothing, even though it must have been a horrible time for you.

Batteriesallgone Thu 23-Jun-16 13:10:36

I actually think the biggest problem is with the second sonographer.

Human error happens, it's a fact of life. However when human error is discovered there should a system in place. I would think it should be something like:
-2nd sonographer notices inconsistencies
- asks you to wait while she gets another staff member
-2 members of staff agree no previa, explain to you, apologise on behalf of department. Explain to you your rights to complain but also assure you they will be escalating this
-sonographer emails/talks to manager noting error, it gets reported into the error management framework etc

What she shouldn't do is bloody laugh, and then expect you to blindly take her word for it that things are fine given the previous treatment, and be generally dismissive. I think I'd be complaining about her to be honest.

The problem is not mistakes, the problem is how mistakes are identified, reported and learned from (I used to be an auditor, can you tell? Ha). Unfortunately the NHS has a hideous blame culture

Batteriesallgone Thu 23-Jun-16 13:15:16

Oh and yes to the previous poster saying about your midwife not questioning why you'd been sent home without any info on previa and potentially requesting a second scan with follow up consultant appointment if she remained suspicious that something didn't add up.

Oly5 Thu 23-Jun-16 13:20:06

Of course you're due an apology. I would write a formal complaint once baby is here. The sonographer should know they cocked up.
I wouldn't hesitate

SonographerProblems Thu 23-Jun-16 20:50:35

Thanks everyone!

To PP asking about midwife not checking up on it sooner, I did have a second scan booked in advance (I'm getting 4 weekly growth scans due to miscarriage problems in my last two pregnancies) and that's all arranged through the hospital rather than by her, so she did ask when my next scan was and I told her, so I presume she thought that was the double check.

I've had a very rough time today. Managed to finally get home tonight, but it turns out I'd had a very bad reaction to the steroids they'd given me, (think ballooned face, major headaches and severe dehydration blush)
I've picked up a water infection from being in hospital too, and because I'm allergic to penicillin they want me to go to my doctors everyday for water samples until it clears up (or gets worse) rather than give me a different type of antibiotic sad

Feeling rather lousy, but thankfully baby is moving well and it seems I'm on track for my planned induction in a few weeks time, without the need for a section!

diddl Thu 23-Jun-16 21:22:48

But even though you had a scan booked, that doesn't explain being given no info.

It doesn't explain why she didn't query that with them.

It would have saved you all the worry.

Of course the origin of it all is the sonographer, but they are both at fault imo.

SonographerProblems Thu 23-Jun-16 22:17:46

Oh diddl I completely agree with you. I've had multiple issues with this midwife before in past pregnancies, which is why I was so glad I was having outside input from the hospital!

The Doctor that was looking after me in the ward has advised I write a letter of complaint (this came from no prompting from me!)
Think I'll be waiting a few weeks before I write anything, concentrate on baby getting here safely and me getting myself well, just upset at what's happened and feel a little scared that these people are supposed to look after me.

diddl Fri 24-Jun-16 08:06:11

I think that leaving it for the moment sounds a good idea.

It is such a worry.
I was trying to prepare myself for a CS.

Knew that wouldn't dare have an epidural, so felt bad for my husband.

PFB was born at home rather quickly so he had missed that!

Fortunately the placenta moved & I went on to have a very easy birth with my husband there!

Magstermay Fri 24-Jun-16 08:27:43

Poor you, I would definitely be asking for an apology and make it clear that had the second sonographer apologised and sorted things with your consultant rather than laughing that would have more than likely been sufficient. Very unprofessional (I say that as a medical professional).
I think one problem with the NHS is everyone has such specific roles they don't dare drift into someone else's field, ie no one else would look at the scans to query it.

Mookbark Fri 24-Jun-16 08:31:46

I'm a HCP and yes, I think you deserve an apology. I would speak to PALs, they will be very helpful in the process. As well as an apology, the initial sonographer needs to know what she did so that she can be more careful and ensure she doesn't do it again.

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