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Unable to obtain important measurements, now what?

(15 Posts)
MissSG Wed 10-Apr-13 12:10:52

I am 23+3 with DC2.

I went for my 20 week scan and they couldn't obtain the measurements of baby's heart, brain and spine so I was booked to have a rescan a week after.

So I went to the rescan and they had the same problem, I have an anterior placenta and the baby is laying in an awkward position so no measurements could be obtained again. They booked me for a rescan for a week after.

I have just come back from the scan and I am extremely upset how it went. The sonographer told me to 'lay down' and didn't speak a word to me throughout the scan, I had to say 'Are you measuring the baby's brain now?' To which I got an extremely rude 'Yes' and that was all that was said throughout the scan. She told me to empty my bladder as she hasn't got all the measurements and she is going to do an internal she also said 'Because this is the last time I'm trying'.

Unfortunately the heart or the spine could not be measured and she handed me my notes and said 'I'm not rebooking you, goodbye' I am very upset with how I was treated and I am now extremely worried about not being able to see the spine or have the measurements of the heart.

What should I do? I am just upset about the experience and I have no idea what to do next.

Do I have to hope that they are okay?

Guntie Wed 10-Apr-13 12:19:41

If I were you I would book a private scan today. I am not sure if this is possible for you money wise (?) I have had scans done both on the NHS with a sonographer and privately with an OB and there is a big difference in skill level. I am sorry you were treated badly, you have every right to be upset.


Fatherfluffybottom Wed 10-Apr-13 12:28:04

Poor you. That sounds horrible. You must be quite shaken up by it. The sonographer's attitude was uncalled for. Why do these people go into these jobs that require dealing with women at a vunerable time, if they don't want to offer care and some compassion?! The woman who did my 20 week scan was similarly offhand to me, and I felt quite bashed about.

I think lots of chocolate and tea and tlc is called for!

rrreow Wed 10-Apr-13 12:31:38

Wow that is shocking! She made it sound like it was somehow your fault. I can imagine that was really upsetting! Especially because obviously you just want to know your baby is OK.

Seconding the recommendation of a private scan if you can afford it. But most importantly, tell the hospital (in writing) about what happened and how it made you feel. Do you have the name of the sonographer who performed your scan? Was it the same sonographer that you had for the previous two scans?

harleyd Wed 10-Apr-13 12:31:41

i would get on the phone and give off stink to the hospital! demand an immediate re-scan and dont back down until they give the appointment

Lydia161290 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:46:25

Oh god, that sounds so horrible I feel for you, I really do. I had a similar problem. At my 20 week scan they had a student and a sonographer, was bashed about by both as baby was lying in an awkward position. They kept the screen away from me all the time and were quite short with me. I felt so angry and upset with them and quite tender.

So anyway, I had a lot of things that weren't measured/checked at my 20 week scan. I was told to come back two weeks later, but my appointment was messed about and ended up coming back 4 weeks (24 weeks). I had a completely different sonographer and she was lovely, kept the screen facing me and was patient with baby, who enjoys curling up in a ball!

That woman just sounds like she had no patience and honestly, you didn't deserve that treatment at all. I'd call up your hospital, perhaps change clinics or hospitals? If not, i'd go private.

Velve Wed 10-Apr-13 12:50:26

shock I would definitely make a stink. Call the hospital and ask for a new appointment, and ask to be seen by another sonographer.
Be very clear on how you feel you have been treated.
The sonographer seemed to imply it was your fault they couldn't find the measurements and that she was put upon having to do her job (god forbid!).

NorthernLurker Wed 10-Apr-13 12:56:01

Oh dear - I too have come across a grumpy sonographer. Dh has a lot of tolerance for NHS professionals (his mother is a nurse and father a pharmacist) and even he thought the one we had for dd2 was awful. For dd3 we had a specialist cardiac scan and a 20 scan and both were lovely. I think you do need some reassurance. Have you rung your community midwife? I think that would be the best route to go down. I assume you'll be having a hospital appointment next trimester so worst case I would request that your midwife asks that you get a scan then but that is a while to wait. Contact the midwife and see what they suggest. Baby may be a little monkey and three attempts is a lot but there's no reason why you should accept feeling upset and abandoned.

stickermadkid Wed 10-Apr-13 13:29:05

My baby was in a horrid position and has been a little tinker for every scan I have been to. (Am 36 weeks had about8 scans so far)

For the 20 week scan baby was lying head down and they could not measure properly so sent me out to have some more to drink and walk about twice and they still couldn't get a good reading. so had to rebook for the following week and had the same problem. 2 hours later and after a lot of walking about they finally got baby in a good enough position for the checks. Not once did the sonographer imply anything was my fault and she was extremely nice about it all as she could see that I was getting stressed.

I would kick up a right fuss if I was treated this way. Phone your midwife as well and demand to get another scan.
Good Luck and I hope you get it all sorted.

bionic77 Wed 10-Apr-13 16:01:31

Just on the sonographer not speak/being rude. My sonographer said at my 20 week scan that she wouldn't be speaking throughout the scan as it was important she concentrated. She did say she would answer any questions I had at the end. True to her word she never said a thing but did look to be concentarting hard.

curiousgeorgie Wed 10-Apr-13 16:05:48

Can you ring your hospitals PALS service and complain??

MissSG Thu 11-Apr-13 09:48:56

Thank you for the replies.

I have an appointment to see my midwife on Tuesday so I will tell her my concerns then.

I am going to write a letter to the hospital department complaining about the service I received, I do have the sonographer's name on the report so I can mention her as well.

I have been left worried about baby's development and I hope that the midwife will see that and take action to check the baby's well being and also to allow me to have reassurance that the baby is okay.

BrightAngel Thu 11-Apr-13 11:08:01

I had to go back three times for my 20 week scan, also due to an anterior placenta and the baby being in a difficult position (breech and back to back). The last time I went I was 23 weeks and over the course of the 3 weeks it hadn't really moved position but was slightly bigger each time (which supposedly helps). Each time they managed to get a few more things measured but after the second time, heart and spine were still outstanding.

At the third appointment I was told that it was crunch time as if they didn't get the final measurements I would not be invited back as it was contrary to hospital policy to have someone come a fourth time. Some NHS standards on fetal anomaly screening I had read prior to that suggested that Trusts were only required to invite women back for a second scan if the first was incomplete so I was prepared to hear that, but I could find no advice about happens if the anomaly scan can't be competed. In the end, they managed to get everything though it took a long time. The head sonographer did my third scan - I don't know whether this was a coincidence - but she seemed to be a lot more experienced than the first two, asking me to lie on my side etc (which I hadn't been asked to do previously). She really really struggled to get the last measurement but she persevered saying she didn't want to send us away without it.

At no point was it implied it was my fault, even though I am on the larger side.. At the earlier appointments they had also done a really good job of reassuring us that everything they had been able to see/measure looked perfectly normal and it was very likely that the same would be true of the heart/spine.

Having to wait those three weeks to get the reassurance that everything looked 'normal' was incredibly hard, especially as we were being extra cautious after a previous miscarriage and were waiting to announce to the world at large until after the 20 week scan. It seems unbelievable that they can just leave you with the uncertainty hanging over you. I think you should write to complain as you say and discuss with your midwife what your options are. If a fourth scan on the NHS is out of the question, then I would seriously consider a private scan. Even a few days can make a difference in terms of the baby's positioning and size, plus the chances are the quality of the equipment and sonographer will be better and they will be more inclined to take the time and persevere. It is rubbish though that you should have to resort to that just to have peace of mind.

muffins Thu 11-Apr-13 21:27:11

Hi misssg

Sorry to hear you have had a bad experience. To second what someone has said above the nhs Fetal anomaly screening programme does only recommend 1 rescan. We do 2 where I work.
I personally struggle to scan with the screen facing patients. As a profession we have huge problems with RSI and when doing measurements you do need to be looking square at the screen tbh. I've got a lot of problems with my neck at mo just from showing parents at the beginning and end of scan. Some places have slave monitors above the patient which solves the problem really.
The lady you had does seem to have had a stinky attitude and I think you'd be doing the right thing to complain. Even if I'm struggling to scan someone with a BMI over 50 and a baby doing a headstand I wouldn't dream of being so rude, it's meant to be a special time after all eh.
I would also say be cautious with private scans, private does not necessarily = better.
Hopefully your hospital will agree to scan you once more for you peace of mind if nothing else x

atrcts Thu 11-Apr-13 23:46:56

I'm glad you've decided to complain because if you were treated like that, you can be sure other people will be too, and it should be stopped.

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