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Complaint to my early pregnancy unit?

(9 Posts)
Penguingal Mon 09-Nov-20 10:10:52

I wanted to get a feel on others thoughts. I am thinking of making a complaint to my EPU. I have been advised I can speak the the main sister of the ward or put in an official complaint. I think I want to speak with the sister and try and prevent what happened to me to others. I don't know if an official complaint would be taking it too far. I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable in wanting to do so.

I heard the heartbeat of my baby for the first time on Monday at around 7.5 weeks. But by Thursday I had painful cramps and bleeding. When I rang the EPU they were really dismissive saying that is normal and not to worry as my scan was so good on Monday. They said only call back if I bleed through a pad in an hour. I felt really dismissed in the pain I was feeling so we called back and pushed for them to see me.

I went to the EPU they said they wouldn't scan twice in one week so made a scan appointment for the next Monday, but they were able to check my cervix. It was closed. They said they aren't the worried at all and everything looks perfect. I was so blindsided. My partner was no longer allowed in the room with me while I was being examined I forget to ask about painkillers and they weren't offered to me despite me describing my pain as an 8/10.

My partner called the EPU the next day as I was in horrific contraction like pain where I would scream out. They said "period like cramps are normal" but this was so much more worse They said we could come down if we want and they could examine me and give me pain killers but there was a long wait. Like they didn't want me to waste their time by coming. But I did go. I took my hot water bottle with me and waiting 2 to 3 hours with this pain that had me screening out before being seen and being given pain meds. They checked my cervix again and I was told it looked perfect and they aren't worried at all. They said although I was bleeding it was only a little amount. I was sent home.

I passed a grey sack with my baby in 2 days later. It was traumatising to see that come out of me and not know what it was.

I'm upset and angry that I felt so dismissed and like a bother. I understand they may have been trying to relax me by saying everything is fine, but I feel it was cruel for them to not explain that it was possible i could be miscarrying and what to expect if I was. This was my first pregnancy. I was scared and vulnerable and just left to feel like I was being a worrisome bother wasting their time and I wasn't prepared for what actually miscarrying looked and felt like.

Tldr: I was told my bleeding and pain was normal and I don't need to worry because everything looked perfect. I wasn't told that I could be miscarrying and what to expect if I was. It made an awful experience even worse.
Should I make a formal complaint or speak with the head sister or just get over it?

OP’s posts: |
RayOfSunshine2013 Mon 09-Nov-20 10:24:37

I can see both sides, as much as it sounds like it could/ should have been dealt with a lot more sensitively and explained to you better, ultimately the outcome would have still been the same at this stage. Hope you’re doing ok flowers

Rumples Mon 09-Nov-20 12:57:10

Sorry you've had such a bad experience and for your loss.

It's a tough one as pain and even bleeding in early pregnancy is common and as you did see a heartbeat that week I do see their side of it and I'm sure in many instances it all works out fine. But they could've taken the level of pain you were experiencing more seriously and not brushed it off.

Like the previous poster said, nothing they did or didn't do would've changed the outcome but I understand that it could've prepared you for what might be happening.

I would express that to the nurse and hopefully it will get relayed back to whoever you spoke to. A formal complaint for me would be harsh.

Sophfr17 Tue 10-Nov-20 09:18:24


So sorry about what just happened to you...

I totally agree with the two other women, the outcome would not have changed unfortunately.

However, i don't agree about how to react to what they did to you, which was literally nothing.

By scanning you again, and acknowledging your pain, they could have prepared you for what was about to happen. In 6 pregnancies, I have been to my EPU more than I wished, and they were always there for me, from the first time i went to the last. I remember also going twice during the same week, and they always scanned me.
This unit is designed for women early in their pregnancy, and who experience discomfort, from the mildest to the strongest.

They need to know what happened to you, therefore I would make the complaint. I remember after my first pregnancy termination at 14w, periods wouldnt come back after 3 months, so i called a widwife who told me "girl, you are no longer pregnant, don't bother call us again". I reported this behavior to my doctors, who said this woman (they knew who she was) was not doing her job properly.

Complaints allow them to work better. If they are not here for us, what the point in going to them? A scan can take only a few minutes.

If you have the energy to make it, you should do it. Also, there is something they should know, is that pregnant women have a 6th sense. For my 5 previous pregnancies that ended badly, I always knew before i received confirmation that something was going wrong. That's something you can't explain. And in your personal case, you could feel that something was going wrong.

Take care of yourself and be strong. Things will be better with time.


Mctm123 Tue 10-Nov-20 09:35:25

So sorry for your loss. I’ve had 3 losses an I know how tough it can be. Take care of yourself xx

After my third loss, I made a complaint. It was for different reasons to you (mine was related to private IVF treatment) and how I thought our miscarriages may have been avoided because of certain medications anyway I went to PALS and they were absolutely brilliant and we ended up being successful in the complaint and we were compensated with further treatment. Again, I know this is different to you, but I would highly recommend giving them a call even just for a chat and some guidance. They were brilliant with us, hope this helps, take care 💓xxx

Cornflake24 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:13:05

Sorry you went through this. Its horrible.

As others have said bleeding is common and the cervix being closed normally does mean no miscarriage.

You had the option to go to A&E and call maternity triage as well. The EPC were great for me but clearly limited in what they can do. I went to A&E and got sent to maternity triage.

I get its difficult but I like to think everyone is trying thier best, I had alot off issues and could have complained but what does that achieve? Try and think they did the best they could and let it go is my advice.

A MC is hard enough without focusing on that, just focus on your recovery

Emmapeeler2 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:24:30

I was treated similarly OP. I had no idea I was miscarrying until I did and even then I wasn't sure because they had been so convincing that all was fine despite bleeding, even though it seems obvious now I know better. Not even a leaflet about what to expect if miscarrying. For me, it was one in a string of examples I could give of not being trusted with information while pregnant or giving birth. Yes, it looked fine for you, but as the situation may well have changed, given you were bleeding, a bit of info on 'what to expect if' wouldn't have gone amiss.

Emmapeeler2 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:26:33

Ps sorry that you went through this flowers

RainbowRED81 Mon 23-Nov-20 21:10:31

I’m new on here but just wanted to send my sympathies to you. I’ve been in your shoes 9 times and despite the number they never get easier. I’ve suffered all of my losses before 12 weeks and been investigated numerous times, only to be told my infertility was unexplained. No cause for the losses. Most of my experiences with the EPU have been wonderful, the nurses all caring and supportive. However my last miscarriage in 2019 was slightly different. I went for an early scan at 8 weeks where we were told there was a sac but no yolk/pole and to prepare for miscarriage. What they failed to tell me was that if I could, and this bit sounds awful, collect some of it, they could send away for testing to see if there was anything obvious to explain the loss. I was only told this after spending 2 days miscarrying naturally at home with the most horrendous contractions (They just don’t warn you like they should! It’s honestly like labour pain) and catching the sac/baby in my hand on the toilet. When I called the EPU the next day a lady on the phone said very nonchalant ‘did you manage to collect some in a tub for us?’. I was horrified! I think some of the staff in these units need re-training as they forget the emotional state of the patients they’re talking to. There’s just no excuse for it and if being sympathetic isn’t something they can manage then maybe they’re in the wrong job. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please let me know if I can help in any way x

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