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Are people aware of the dangers of ECV?

(92 Posts)
himynameisfred Fri 17-Aug-12 15:54:21

I want to warn people that it's not safe and could result in death and not worth the risk x

Littlewing15 Tue 02-Jun-15 14:27:16

I know this thread hasn't been posted on for a while, but I notice when I google ecv its one that shows up a lot.

I want to get my story out there about ECV. Unfortunately its not a good experience - my daughter died as a result - I am in the process of petitioning a change into the guild lines used when dealing with ECV procedures.
Its too late to bring my daughter back but I want to stop it from happening to any others and for mums to know ALL the risks,
my mumsnet post is at

And my own blog page where I will be adding my petition for signatures is

I'd really appreciate any shares and signitures

pippinleaf Sun 09-Nov-14 21:46:15

I'm so sorry for your very sad experience, and for the loss of your tiny baby. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing as I had not heard of the procedure and will be refusing it as a result of reading your story, so thank you. Xx

NICOLAHARRISON Sun 09-Nov-14 21:39:41

I too had an ECV at 37 weeks due to breech presentation. With hidsight, the registrar who did it seemed uncomfortable about doing the procedure, a bit nervous, and said she would only give it three attempts and if it didnt work would abandon it. After three tries baby didnt turn so we left hospital with a date set for a c-section. I felt a bit bruised where she had dug her fingers in around baby's head, but ok otherwise.

7 days later I started to get pains in the rib area where the ecv had been carried out, and I then started to lose blood. I was rushed into hospital for an emergency section and was told I had a placental abruption. Thank god my baby was delivered safely, but the placenta was in such a mess they had to put me under genereal anaesthetic to remove it, followed by a big blood transfusion. All very traumatic and an horrendous experience I still think about now, eight years on. They denied there was any link between the ecv and the placental abruption (but they would wouldn't they).

A friend of mine had an ecv a year previously and baby turned and all was well - no issues. But after what I went through I just think the procedure is way too risky.

Ag1105 Sat 08-Nov-14 16:00:01

Hi I am also very sorry for your loss. I wish I had read your story earlier so I would not do the EVC. My baby was breech at 37 weeks. I really did not want a csection. After consulting with a few doctors who ensured me that it was rare to have early labor after EVC, I opt for it. The procedure was painful. After 30 to 40 minutes, the doctor told me that the baby could not be turned, whenever she tried to push on her head, her heart rate dropped, she can't continue. I was very disappointed. They sent me to get monitored. After 10 minutes, the baby 's heart rate dropped, the doctor and nurse came in and told me that they might need to send me to labor and delivery to get monitored. Also I was having contractions. I was confused and asked what does that mean? The doctor answered you might be a mother today. After they sent me to labor and delivery, the baby's heart rate dropped once again. I was terrified, all the nurses and doctors came in to the room, checked my cervix and told me that I was 2-3 centimeters dilated, they need to do a csectoon right away. I started crying. I felt very guilty about coming here in the first place. My decision put my baby in danger. My daughter was born on that day at 5 pounds 13 ounces. She was so tiny. I felt more guilty when I looked at her. I didn't understand why doctors do EVC these days when it could be so risky. I pray everyday that she will be healthy and big. I don't think I could ever get over what happened.

messenger84 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:58:36

I really want it to be know that there are huge risks! 50-60% is stated sucess rate of EVC - has anyone consiering monitoring what happens to those 50-40% of children who underwent EVC but were not tuned around? I hope most of them did not suffer long-term consequences. But we never know...something tells me there will be a trend once some dat is collected...This should be studied! The full disclosure should be made to parents-to-be. These warnings should be the first things to com eout when you google EVC.

messenger84 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:51:38

So glad I found this discussion - only too late to change anything for myself. But I am glad the information in there to consider - I wish it was there when I was doing my research back in 2009...

So goes another sad story. Not as sad as from himynameisfred (i cant stop crying after reading it). But my child was damaged for life.

I was pregnant with my first child in winter 2008/2009, with a due date of May 5. Everything was going perfect. I was 25, very healthy, no medications or drug use ever, taking vitamins and eating mostly organic food. Needless to say I was convinced that the best way is a natural delivery, so my birth plan was to not use any pain medications or any medications whatsoever. In the end of the day, my grandmother had 7 children and my mother had me with no medications. My plan was compromised at~35 weeks when the midwife discovered at the routine check up that the baby was breached. Ultrasound confirmed. The clinic I went to was traditional/alternative medicine mix and they always advocate natural ways to heal whenever possible. So the midwife had me do some special excercise and moxibustion stick at my toes for a couple weeks, as well as drinking more water to increase the amniotic fluid levels. No results - baby stayed breached. She then informed me about ECV option, saying that it is overall a pretty safe procedure, with sucess rate 50-60% and minimal complications. I have done the research online and found nothing to the contrary. So I met with the doctor to discuss the procedure. Again, the only risks that were brought out were placenta abruption or going in premature delivery, but they convinced that I and the baby will be closely monitored and in the event of anything goes wrong, baby will be delivered within minutes (procedure is done in the hospital by an obstetrician). The risk seemed mitigated and I decided to go ahead. At 38 weeks the EVC was performed. It appeared that all the checks were done prior. Unltrasound estimated baby at 5.5lbs, amniotic fluid levels good. I was given the muscle relaxant and doctor started pushing. It was terribly painful. I don't recall how long it lasted until baby's heart rate started dropping. It went down from 170 to 90 per minute. The procedure was stopped as at this point it was not considered safe to continue. I stayed in the room, closely monitored. The heart rate went back to normal within 10-15 minutes. They sent me home half and hour later and scheduled C section in 12 days (just prior to my due date to make sure I won't go into labor). THIS is what I should have done in the first place!

The section was a success. My daughter Elizabeth was born on on April 29, 2009. She was 9 lbs 1 oz, so it is agross miscalculation that she could have been 5-6 lbs 10 days prior to that! I they realized it was a large baby, she should have thought and inform me that the success of the EVC was much lower in the first place. But I am still not up to the main point, sorry for a lenthly post... We started realizing towards the end of her first year that something is not right with Elizabeth. She did not start to crawl till 11 month and walk till 16 month. He speech was behind. We started doing some test and evaluations. I spare of all the details of what evaluation and therapies we did in last 5 years... The only medical diagnosis to date is central (stems from the brain) benign (no going to worsen) congenital (something she was born with) hypotonia (low muscle tone). Ths results in a lot of challenges with coordination, motor planning and execution, unintelligble speech. We have to do a lot of tharapies (occupational, physical, speech)just to help her function close to a level of a normal child. This will never go away though, and it is likely that my child will not be an independent adult. The life is hell and there is no light in the end of the tunnel. Considering all the health factors, the most likely reason for this neurological deficiency was somehting that happenned during EVC. The heart rate drop. This means that my child was about to die during that procedure. That also means there was, for some time, a lack of oxigen to her brain... I do not think something like that can go without consequences....I have heard at least 2 times that kids after attempted EVC had neurological problems. Why is this not studied and not disclosed to people who are offered EVC??? If i was told that there is even a REMOTE chance that my child won't be normal because off that I would say HECK NO to EVC.

tgamble13 Wed 25-Dec-13 10:08:27

i was offered an evc last week and my partner and i have refused and have opted for a c/section if baby doesnt turn between now and two weeks time. my view is baby will decide what they want to do and how they do it am letting nature take its course but obviously will have to intervene near the end as i dont think vaginal breech birth is safe either due to lack of skills of professionals. we havent made this decision light heartedly and have read all the guidance and research carried out around this

alice93 Wed 25-Dec-13 04:09:00

Sorry I just reread your post!! Totally not what you asked!! My advice is just keep bothering them for a scan, it should be top priority... Sorry !

alice93 Wed 25-Dec-13 04:06:08

What a coincidence (I'm up with heartburn) - I had ECV this afternoon, 38 weeks preg and he was transverse (cross ways like your partners), they turned him, it was painful!! I felt bruised all evening and still do a bit and very tired. They turned him 270 degrees clockwise as he didn't want to do the 90 degrees anticlockwise - typical. They monitered him and then sent me home. I think he's gone back to his original position but I'll get confirmation on that later today.

To be honest I was quite scared, but reassured as I knew my consultant who did it had a good reputation. They said the chances of it being successful are 50%, I think it was worth it though. As long as you're monitered afterwards. Although I'm a bit reluctant for a second go (they said NICE guidelines says two chances then csec and I do kinda want to have a natural birth!)

Good luck with the choice. Ultimately it's your partners though.. Mine was pretty for it but refused to say anything when I was given the option. If anything goes wrong they will just do a csec so as long as they moniter you it seems good.

SantaClausBarnsley Wed 25-Dec-13 03:55:43

Apologies for hijacking the thread. My partner had a failed ECV on Monday. Now the baby is side to side, neither up nor down. The hospital won't let her home. They want to monitor the baby, which they are doing via heartbeat periodically. They have concerns regarding the cord, they promised a scan (to a laymen this sounds like an obvious thing to do), but nothing has materialised.

I want my baby, not a medical negligence claim. What should I do? I have asked the local baby view if they can do a scan....but it won't be Christmas morning. I suspect the. Lack of a scan is a financial, technical, or capability based constraint. Should i just go get them and take them to a better hospital?

babycakemumma Tue 19-Nov-13 17:00:57

Thanks for the info from the ladies here. I'm trying to make these choices if my baby doesn't turn and the consultant pushed for this. Turn baby turn!


Xenadog Mon 18-Nov-13 10:58:28

Hello all. I'm just back from seeing the consultant (surprise surprise a different one to the one I saw 2 weeks ago - where is the consistency of care?) and having my scan. Baby is still breech and I did feel pressurised by both the midwife and the doctor to have a ECV.

The midwife talked to me about how gently they try to move the baby and how they monitor all the way through. She could see I wasn't keen when I mentioned placental abruption and then told me about shining a light on my stomach to get the baby to move as well as doing moxibustion. She also spoke very conspiringly to me about going to see her after seeing the doctor if I wanted more information on "Natural" ways to move the baby! WTF????

The doctor went straight into ECV and how they are done but couldn't tell me who would do it or what their success rate was ("best person in on the day" apparently!) except to say that the success rate is between 30% and 80% depending who does the ECV.

I pointed out I wanted data on the person who would be doing the ECV and then I could make an informed decision but the best they can offer me is a "little chat" with the consultant prior to the procedure! How on earth can that help me make a decision about a potentially dangerous procedure which I would then be expected to have almost immediately?

The doctor then said they used to do EVCs at 34 weeks but because so many went wrong they had to do C Sections on prem babies which was dangerous so now they leave it until 37/38 weeks. Surely if these ECVs go so wrong and lead to emergency C Sections they shouldn't be doing them?

Basically I stuck to my guns thanks to this thread and insisted that if baby doesn't move herself I would be expecting a C Section. The doctor booked me in for 11/12/13 (the date I cheekily asked for!) and if she hasn't turned herself then that is what will be happening.

I can only say thank you once again to himynameisfred for setting up this thread and sharing your story. I feel I owe you a huge debt of gratitude and also to the other ladies who have posted on here and offered me advice.

Xena x

Xenadog Sun 17-Nov-13 17:46:14

Thanks greentshirt I will go in tomorrow with a clear view about what I want and what can not happen if baby I still breech. I do tend to be a bit of an unmoveable object when I need/want to be and knowledge about the NICE guidelines will just give me that bit of a boost.

greentshirt Sun 17-Nov-13 15:51:19

It goes on a little bit more about breech presentation in the guidelines. They are very interesting and worth a read if anyone thinks they might want a section or dont feel they are being offered one in the appropriate circumstances

greentshirt Sun 17-Nov-13 15:49:05

From the Section NICE guidelines:

indications for CS (such as presumed fetal compromise, 'failure to progress' in
labour, breech presentation)

greentshirt Sun 17-Nov-13 15:46:31

You absolutely can have an ELCS Xenadog in your situation. You might find when you get to the hospital they might not try very hard at all to persuade you on ECV, my friend's baby was breech and they made so much of the dangers it was more a case of 'you can do this if you want but you would really be better with a section' She went for the section and everything is fine.

I dont know if im correct in this but I dont think the nhs will allow a breecgh vaginal delivery if they already know about the baby's position so I dont think you need to worry about that.

Hope the scan goes well

Xenadog Sun 17-Nov-13 14:16:41

This thread has appeared at the right time for me.

Firstly, OP can I just extend my deepest condolences to you for the awful experience you went through. I am so sorry about how things turned out for you and your original thread had me in tears. I think you were incredibly brave to share your story and I am grateful you have chosen to highlight the dangers of ECVs.

Secondly, I had a scan 2 weeks ago at 34 weeks and found out my baby is a footling breech. I am back at the hospital tomorrow to have another scan to see if the baby has moved and if not then I can discuss what options I have.

I had not realised ECVs did have real and awful dangers linked to them but I admit I have felt worried about the cord ended up wrapped around the baby's neck.

Tomorrow if the scan shows my baby is still a footling breech am I within my rights to say I want to go down the route of a C Section and not attempt an ECV? Is it possible for the doctor to try to insist I have one? Or could they insist I attempt a vaginal birth if I don't want the ECV? Basically what rights do I have?

DP will be coming to the appointment but he is less assertive than me so I feel I need the all facts so I can be determined and focused on the right thing for me and my baby.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer some advice.

urtwistingmymelonman Sun 17-Nov-13 06:10:00

my baby was oblique until 35 weeks and midwife started talking about ecv.
luckily she is now head down but I would have refused ecv.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 16-Nov-13 23:16:49

My baby is currently transverse.

I wouldn't consider ECV but after reading this thread I feel totally justified in my decision.

Just want to send my condolences and sympathies to all the parents who lost their babies.

LittlePeaPod Sat 16-Nov-13 10:12:39

I am so so sorry for your loss Op. [Flowers] My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your experience. It has strengthened my resolve that an ELCS is the right choice for our baby. Thank you for that.

kiwiscantfly Sat 16-Nov-13 04:57:46

I had one attempt at an ECV and it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced, and I had the gas and air! It didn't work and afterwards while I was crying with pain the consultant was quite sheepish and said I must have strong stomach muscles and the baby was firmly stuck. My baby was fine and two weeks later she was born with a very relaxing ELCS. I would never recommend them!

Nicolels Fri 15-Nov-13 23:47:45

I had an ECV at 37 weeks. I read the leaflet given and after reading the leaflet on it, decided it sounded fairly straight forward. I went in in the morning without any of my hospital stuff. We were meant to be going out for dinner that night for my mother-in-laws birthday. It was only last minute I decided not to drive in (my partner didn't drive at the time) and got my sister-in-law to take us in. They did a scan before and during the procedure. It was incredibly painful and I had no pain relief. Halfway through they stopped because I suddenly felt very faint. I remember feeling very strange. Whilst they stopped they rechecked the baby's heartbeat. The next bit is all a blur. I remember the two drs looking at each other in panic. I remember being told I needed to go for a c-section right away. I was wheeled down the corridor, my clothes pulled off me as I was pushed along. I vividly remember asking them not to let my baby die and the look on the woman dr's face who didn't even respond. I can remember how much I was shaking, the anaesthetist was stroking my hair to try calm me down as he was putting me to sleep. I don't remember the alarms going off but they must of as everyone came running with us down to theatre. My partner was kept outside and wasn't told anything. They had six minutes roughly to get me from the room I was in, put me to sleep and get my daughter out. By some miracle she survived with no problems whatsoever. The cord had got wrapped round her body and neck twice. I'm so grateful she survived but it had terrible knock on effects. The day she was born was the worst day of my life. I had vivid flashbacks for the next 6 months after and suffered from post natal depression that still to this day, although I am now ok, I've hardly even spoken to my partner about.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 13:11:01

I must have been typing the wrong thing into google, I've now found information on it.

weeblueberry Fri 05-Apr-13 12:47:18

Although I'm fairly sure BabyBlueberry is engaged now, I did read this topic about 2 weeks ago when it was fairly certain she was breech. After doing my own research I decided if she stayed feet down that I would decline an ECV. If this is the case, and the baby is breech, are you entitled to an ELCS? Or can they encourage a natural breech birth (which I wouldn't want either?).

Am hoping next midwife visit confirms she's head down but am curious just in case. Is breech a failsafe reason for getting an ELCS?

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 12:36:33

Thank you for posting this OP, and thanks everyone else who have shared their stories too. I'm due my second next month and have never heard of this. I've searched for some information on google but can't find much, what is involved when they are carried out?

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