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Calling any midwives 4 advice

(5 Posts)
SpikeMomma Sun 14-Aug-05 16:15:16

My friend has written a letter of complaint to her hospital as her placenta was manually pulled out of her by a doctor just using his hand. She said the pain was worse than child birth and was quite traumatised by it. Her midwife said the Doc shouldn't have done anything to her until she returned (she was out of the room at the time).

The hospital has written a feeble response saying that he only used a 'sweeping' motion - as if to justify it. However, she has asked other midwives and groups and they believe it wasn't good practice.

She doesn't want compensation - just to find out if this should have happened - she wants to stop it happening to anyone else.

Is this normal procedure? - i have never heard of it. Any advise much appreciated. She says she can only think of it now (5 months on) without getting upset. Poor thing.

fruitful Sun 14-Aug-05 16:42:40

No idea about whether this is normal or not. But surely a doctor cannot do anything to you without your consent? It doesn't sound like it was so urgent that he didn't have time to explain what he was going to do and get her permission.

mears Sun 14-Aug-05 17:28:48

SpikeMomma - sometimes when the placenta has been stuck, the doctor will come and try to deliver it if he thinks it has separated. If it is half delivered through the neck of the womb it may be possible to encourage it to deliver by holding the edge of it. If it is still completely in the womb then he needs to put a hand compoletely inside to get it. That needs to be done under spinal anaesthetic if there isn't an affective working epidural.

He should not have done anything when the midwife wasn't there. The midwife would have ensured that your friend was able to use gas and air if she found it uncomfortable. It sounds as though he did not explain to the midwife or your friend what he was about to do. I think that it was unacceptable and that your friend should reject the letter as an apology. A meeting would then be arranged with more senior medical staff. Did her complaint go to the Chief Executive?

SpikeMomma Sun 14-Aug-05 17:50:03

Thanks Mears (i was hoping you'd come to my aid! - i value your feedback a lot on this site). I agree with you, i think they should have offered her proper pain relief. I think she said the theatre was full at the time - but even so, i wouldn't have thought it would have been that much of an emergency for them not to have waited a while or to offer something.

I'll ask who she wrote too. I definately think they should take it further. She really does feel quite upset about it. She isn't a drama queen either (she once trapped her finger in a car door and never moaned about it - her nail fell off!) So for her to feel like that and actually cry after the procedure, i think she suffered quite a lot. I feel so bad for her because she is such a lovely person and i don't want this to taint her experience. It just seems extremely intrusive.

Thanks for your feedback Mears.

milward Mon 15-Aug-05 00:08:51

sm - just after having dd I had a haemoragge as only part of the placenta had been delivered. It was awful - here's something worse than childbirth and it's happening right now was my thought. The doc waited for the anesthetist to arrive as I bled all over the place. I could hear wooshing noises in my ears and knew it was a bad situation. The doc said that she'd have to manually remove it with no pain relief. I told her to do what she had to do. At that moment the anesthetist arrived and after two attempts got the spinal going - with me shouting at her to do her job. It was hard to sit up for the injection as I was slipping in my own blood.
Just to say that perhaps there wasn't time to wait in your friends case? It must have been awful but I would have chosen to have not waited for a spinal and not lost nearly 2litres. It took a while to get back to normal hb level which was 7 after childbirth experience.

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