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Why do midwives lie on your notes?

(153 Posts)
banana87 Tue 08-Nov-11 20:02:18

Saturday night I went to hospital because I was having contractions, 7 min apart and had a huge wet patch in my underwear. Nothing came of it and I was sent home.

I've just read my notes and MW wrote:

Fundal height 42cm (she never measured me!!)
Mild contractions (my ass)
Fluid size of 50p in underwear ( most of my underwear is the size of a 50p??)

Then tonight I saw my consultant. He wrote:

Fundal height 39cm (never measured)
No contractions ( I specifically said I've been having contractions on and off)


notcitrus Thu 10-Nov-11 09:34:24

One advantage of being deaf and therefore sitting next to medics to look at their computer screens is I always watch what they type in and can correct it. Might be a bit harder for other people to insist on doing that!
I have a LOT of appts (currently pregnant, so MWs too) and there's simply loads of times I say something and they go 'well that's roughly this box - tick' and I have to say no, if these are all the boxes you have then this other box is better! Or 'actually, you really do need to tick 'other' and type something - let me dictate...'

MWs were actually not bad, just desperate to fill in paperwork in the quickest and simplest way, which led to some inaccuracies because I didn't fit in their tick-boxes very well. I was amused to see docs/MWs when I was in labour telling new colleagues not to bother reading my notes and just read my birth plan which had all my vital medical history in plain English bullet points at the top!

missedith01 Thu 10-Nov-11 09:44:49

This really annoys me ... in my first pregnancy a midwife insisted on recording that I was exeriencing a white discharge when in fact I was leaking amniotic fluid. Nothing I could say would persuade her and I was sent home - too depressed and tired to continue arguing. A few days later I had a full PROM and lost the baby at 20 weeks. On my third pregnancy now and they don't get much past me that I'm not happy with!

ciwi Thu 10-Nov-11 10:19:06

As a healthcare professional (not mw thankfully) i find this totally shocking, I havent had this problem yet but i read everything they write straight away. If you find false information on your notes you should challenge it, it is illegal and dangerous to purposefully falsify records especially to record fake numbers that you havent even measured. Please don't let this go undetected, your health and the health of your baby is at risk from these people (I know it's a minority of mw's btw but it is still unacceptable)
missedith sorry for your loss, I lost my 1st baby at 24 weeks due to pre eclampsia and similarly, not letting them get away with anything this time. I am getting the care I need this time round but it's not without a fight.

banana87 Thu 10-Nov-11 11:52:56

I feel like contacting panorama after reading some of the stories here. Seems its not just one NHS trust, it's many. Also seems that notes get "mysteriously lost" quite conveniently is many cases too. Makes me quite a bit more skeptical of the NHS.

Half of my previous notes were lost when I went for my 12w scan. They did tell me unprompted though, and they had been found by my 16w consulatant appt.

Catsycat Thu 10-Nov-11 15:02:02

I went to different hospitals to have DD1 and DD2 - I had been traumatised by DD1's birth, and also found some of the hospital staff absolutely foul! I paid for a copy of my notes from DD1's birth, and they were completely out of order, so as to make them almost impossible to follow, and some of the stuff written seemed bizarre. When I showed the midwife at the second hospital, she was actually laughing at some of what had been written, and said she had hoped what I had told her on the phone about my notes hadn't been true! Particularly amusing was my condition on admission to hospital "upset", and the description written following a membrane sweep "vagina is warm and moist"!!!!

I also purchased a copy of my notes from DD2's birth, as I think they are useful to refer to in future pgs. However, the postnatal section was missing - turns out the community mws must have sent it to the wrong hospital. When I asked my mw about that, and asked if they could be returned to the correct hospital, she said something vaguely dismissive about the hospital somtimes losing notes...

No-one actively made things up though - am horrified at fundal heights, BP measurements, labour notes, etc. being made up. I also always read through my notes, and would definitely challenge anything that is untrue!

PlinkertyPlonk Thu 10-Nov-11 15:16:40

I'm shocked by the stories here; it's inexcusable for health professionals to record things incorrectly.

The MW gave me my own notes to look after and bring to check-ups - are these the notes you are all referring to? Or are there separate notes kept by MW/doctors etc? I'm going to be keeping a close eye on mine from now on!

icooksocks Thu 10-Nov-11 17:24:17

In my first pregnancy my labour notes noted I had SROM (spontaneous) whereas I had my waters broken at 6cm dilated, I remember it very clearly, I know it happened. But luckily thats about the only discrepancy I have noticed. This time I'm going to be under Birmingham Womens (last 3 pregs were all in Lincolnshire) so will see if my care is any different this time.

Jeez - am 31 weeks and never thought to even check my notes. Am getting paranoid now and will be going through them this eveningg, though am somewhat comforted by the fact that community led care seems to be a bit better and that's what I'm having.

pregnantmimi Thu 10-Nov-11 18:55:56

addictiediam I know what you mean about the notes cause I had something like that its almost like they want to make out your a bad mother to be or something. I took mood stabilisers at 17 for depression Im 29 now and not been on mood stabilisers for 10 years. At the hospital had to see a mental health midwife who told me I should go on mood stabiliers after the birth told her dont need them been fine for years etc but if anything was to happen of course I would but I wanted to breastfeed and you cant on these tablets. Checked notes later and she had put, Wants to breastfeed dispite knowing the medication she is likely to be on could harm baby. Really upset me cause making me out to be a nutcase and its not even true so I complained to normal midwife and refused to be seen by her again!

lalabaloo Thu 10-Nov-11 20:00:23

My midwife ticked the box for "learning difficulties", I don't actually have learning difficulties, however she was fab otherwise and everything else correct so I am prepared to accept this was just a simple mistake and will just correct it

missedith01 Thu 10-Nov-11 21:28:47

ciwi I'm sorry to hear about your loss as well. Hope everything is fine this time around - I'm sure it will be. I found the one positive I could take from my first pregnancy was that I lost any sense of embarassment and my previous deference for the medical profession ... it made me a better patient, I think. I still respect them for the often difficult job they do, but not the extent of feeling unable to question and disagree whether necessary.

Listzilla Fri 11-Nov-11 07:46:57

My notes said that I didn't get up till 10:30 the day after DD was born because I was waiting for DH to arrive. In fact I was up at 4:30 to go to the SCBU to see DD, and was there til DH arrived. They gave out to me for walking so soon after my epidural so presumably were covering their backs by pretending that I didn't.

They also said DD was given formula 'at mother's request'. I had actually told them I wanted to breastfeed; they gave her formula in the SCBU as soon as she waw born because her blood sugar was low. They never consulted me. As it happened she was put on a glucose drip anyway, but it was too late for breastfeeding - she had decided that bottles were where food came from and refused to latch on to the breast at all.

Also, the evening after she was born, I was offered painkillers, which I refused. I was told to stop being such a martyr, that I must be in need of something given that I'd had a caesarian the previous day, and that it was silly and irresponsible to refuse pain relief. I had actually had a vaginal birth and wasn't in any pain.

Tinkerisdead Fri 11-Nov-11 08:18:42

These are disgusting! I had an independant midwife with dd and my antental notes atecso detailed its funny '+glucose in urine but it could be the packet of biscuits we've just shared'. I've never seen my birth notes as i transferred to hospital. Although i'm now pregnant with dc2. Discussing my emcs with dd i explained that initially they came to suggest emcs for failure to progress but within minutes dd's heart rate was 6beats per minute and alarms were going off and running with me on trolley leaving dh behind. But i remember them explaining i had no time for epidural and would have a full spinal block. My consultant said it didnt make sense as a block takes ten mins to take effect so why would they wait if dd was in such distress?! Now i'm desperate to see my notes.

With this pregnancy at my booking in appointment theres a form that goes to the health visitor, one box says 'history of post natal depression'. Ten years ago i had a termination but had a pph after, it was so traumatic i had counselling after. The midwife said i'll tick this box then. I said no, i never ever struggled after the birth of my dd. That was for a coerced abortion that nearly killed me!! She still insisted saying well maybe i should. I said no, i dont want a hv team looking at that thinking i need extra support for post natal depression that i never had thank you!

pregnantmimi Fri 11-Nov-11 10:30:06

listzilla that would have annoyed me "formula at mothers request" they are just trying to cover themself all the time to make out everything is your decision and prob think no one bothers reading notes. I got so annoyed about it yesterday I stuck post it notes on notes corrected the mistakes lol I might take them off but it made me feel better!

mrsmarzipan Fri 11-Nov-11 16:57:13

am pregnanct with dc3 at the moment and have never seen either of my previous birth records though out if interest would like to.

I did have to question them this time though as it 12 weeks they told me i had lost my immunity to rubella, I pointed out that it was amazing that they could know this as no one had taken any blood from me!
Turns out it was someone elses test results in my file, ok mistakes can happen but if I hadn't questioned it then someone else could have been exposed to it and put their baby at risk.

iggi999 Fri 11-Nov-11 17:57:15

Very minor compared to other posts, but my notes do say I'm having my 2nd child with a new partner (which might come as a shock to DH)

VivaLeBeaver Fri 11-Nov-11 18:31:47

I'm in hospital at the minute and the nurses are making stuff up. They've recorded my resp rate as 16 all afternoon when it's significantly more than that. I watched the last nurse carefully and there is no way that she made any attempt to watch what my resp rate is. I get it as 45 so a huge difference.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 11-Nov-11 18:35:38

Oh and my oxygen level was 93 according to the machine but she wrote 95.

DizzyKipper Fri 11-Nov-11 18:45:09

I need to stop looking back through this thread. Feels me with shock and disgust every time. As well as also looking over and correcting notes as necessary it's also making me think I should start to take photos of all my notes in case any go "missing" angry

PinkFondantFancy Sat 12-Nov-11 03:58:27

This is shocking. Like thedoctorswife I also had an independent midwife and all my notes are incredibly detailed. She also s annex then in so she has a full copy in case I ever lose mine-could it be more different to the NHS???

forehead Sat 12-Nov-11 05:20:40

When i was pregnant with ds, i experienced this.
I had just given birth to ds . the midwife asked how i was. I told her that i was fine, if not a little tired.
I later checked my notes and noticed that the midwife had said that i had complained about fatigue and in her opinion i was showing signs of PND. She also noted the fact that i had PND after previous births.
The fact was that i did not complain to her and i have never had PND. To say that i was shocked is an understatement. I insisted that the midwife amend the notes and made sure that she signed the amendement.

APennyForYourThoughts Sat 12-Nov-11 05:59:55

That's nothing compared to what the Hospital Social Worker said about me:

- that I was a using drug addict (took a few drugs in my teens - 20 years ago)
- that I 'refused' to bf my DS (he was exclusively bf for 4 months)
- that My DD had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (she has a Chromosome 16 disorder, nothing to do with FAS)
- that I invented my DS choking on his food one day because I have Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy (in spite of said choking being witnessed by dietician).

It turns out that all of this was 'just [her] opinion'. Didn't stop the family courts using it against me, though.

whenwill Sat 12-Nov-11 19:25:36

I too have just made up antenatal notes in so many weird and unnecessary ways, which led to unnecessary blood tests, issues with when/how I got results of tests, saying various things were discussed when they weren't and were in fact ignored when I raised them, making up my weight without measuring, many other verbal issues with mws that have not been written down, not recording preexisting conditions that now significantly affect my daily life and when I query it saying it's normal pregnancy discomfort. Can't be bothered to put myself through writing the whole lot but just think it's a good forum for people to raise this as a real and worrying issue that affects so many lives. Things may be problems in all walks of life but tbh I know more people than not who have queries re. ante/post natal issues like this. Some stories on here are horrendous.

SausageSmuggler Sat 12-Nov-11 20:03:47

Blimey I can't believe how common this is!

Thinking back to when DS was born I think the ante natal notes were ok but post natal... I actually put in a complaint about how I was treated because I had little support establishing bfing and was made to wait hours for painkillers. I remember reading my notes which said that I had been given help feeding and DS latched on well (he didn't at all and the nursery nurses never got close enough to see). They also said that I requested painkillers a lot (well yeah because they didn't bring me them - I had to get DH to go ask for them, more than once).

I'm going to go through my new notes (20 weeks preg) with a fine tooth comb now.

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