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Help Promote an Escalation process for pregnant and recently-pregnant patients presenting as an emergency

(1 Post)
IamJustaDad Sat 10-Feb-18 14:32:31

Postnatal Cardiac Arrest and Hypoxic Brain Injury.

My daughter gave birth to our first grandchild 18th July 2015. The baby wasn't due for another 3.5 weeks. The day before birth she had visited the local Antenatal Day Unit (ANDU) upon the instruction of her GP who had recorded reduced fetal movement. She was at that time on iron supplements prescribed by her GP for anaemia.

She had shown us (parents) a particularly large pulsating vein in her right side neck that appeared to be going at a rapid speed. While in Maternity during birth, a nurse noted her neck vein and wrote: "right side neck going +++." It was reported to the midwife for review.

As an inpatient
Unfortunately, on Jessica's medical notes, daily observations after day two had the word written "Well" but no temperature or pulse recordings. There was no review of Jessica's neck vein and she was discharged after five days. A video on postnatal day 2, on her bed with her son Lewin, shows her visual pulse at approx 160 bpm.

Postnatal back home
Jess began to deteriorate 13 days after birth, I took her to ED, she had lost her appetite, was breathless and had a persistent cough. Her heart rate was 170 bpm. Jessica appeared to be suffering a tachyarrhythmia or (SVT). The treatment in ED seemed aggressive, fast and there was no plan were lots of discussions between junior doctors.

No senior Obstetrician was called and no senior review of Anaesthesia. No on-call Cardiology attended but was called. Phone advice was given.

Jessica had lots of different drugs, was anaesthetised for electric shock treatment (cardioversion) and remained unconscious and unresponsive. Shortly after, with her Mother present, she went into cardiac arrest. None of urgent the investigations were conducted in the context of understanding/identify her current heart function.

Share learn and prevent
I share this experience not to alarm or scare, however, if you visit your local accident and emergency department, don't be afraid to ask "Do you have a policy in place for pregnant and recently-pregnant patients presenting as an emergency?"

I would hope one day the changes I am proposing will be nationally implemented so there can be no repeat of Jessica's incident. I am Jessica's full-time carer as she received a severe brain injury. He little boy Lewin is 30 months old now and I love them both dearly?

We have started a campaign on This is where we would like your support, please pop over to the petition and have a read. Please share on facebook or tweet, we so need this escalation process in place and need to make sure all serious incidents are investigated independently. Campaign - Petition

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