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Behaviour in the EPAU waiting room

100 replies

CakeWouldBeNice · 10/07/2015 17:27

This morning I was in the EPAU (miscarriage clinic) waiting room. The routine is that when you arrive you are scanned and then you wait in the waiting room to see the doctor/nurse. The only people in the waiting room are for the EPAU (ie women with threatened miscarriages, or similar)

One couple today came out of the scan room and started very loudly going on to each other about how relieved they were to know their baby was fine. They then got out their scan pictures and started showing them to their daughter (maybe about 6 years old, in school uniform, during school hours) pointing out "here's the baby's leg" and making plans for their baby. They were not trying at all to be quiet and there is no way any of their conversation could be missed.

Meanwhile myself and the other woman waiting just had to sit there and hear it all. I ended up leaving in tears and having to wait in a corridor.

Am I being over-sensitive or was their behaviour inappropriate?

OP posts:
SquinkiesRule · 10/07/2015 17:30

You're not being over-sensitive they were being idiots. Chances are they did it without realizing or meaning any harm, but it was very insensitive of them.

StonedGalah · 10/07/2015 17:34

Seems like a weird set up, you're scanned then put in a room?

They were obviously glad all was ok. Nice of you to judge the school situation btw.

StonedGalah · 10/07/2015 17:36

Oh and l was on a ward after having surgical management for a mmc when the lady next to me was scanned and her baby was ok. She was crying hysterically in delight.

Why does my pain trump her joy?

CoogerAndDark · 10/07/2015 17:37

Maybe they didn't realise it was the EPAU waiting room. The hospital needs to make patients aware if they can't rejig the entrance/exit.

AuntyMag10 · 10/07/2015 17:39

They were relieved and just caught up in the moment of that so they weren't doing it intentionally.

Ohfourfoxache · 10/07/2015 17:41

Definitely inappropriate. I'm sure they were relieved and they had every right to be, but they should have been a bit more thoughtful towards others in the room.

But most importantly, how are you doing? Thanks

toomuchtooold · 10/07/2015 17:41

Arseholes. You're not being oversensitive, that's not on.

MakeItRain · 10/07/2015 17:42

It sounds like they were completely thoughtless, but the fault lies with the layout of where everyone waits, not really with them. I should imagine their relief probably overshadowed their common sense for a little while. Flowers for you though, I've been in your position and it's just horrific.

CakeWouldBeNice · 10/07/2015 17:42

I'm trying to be hopeful without getting stupidly-optimistic. Another scan tomorrow so might know a bit more then

You wait in one room first for the scan, then you have a scan and sit in a different waiting room to see the doctor/nurse. This happened in the second waiting room.

They were obviously glad all was ok. Nice of you to judge the school situation btw.

Of course they were glad it was OK. But I think they could have showed a bit of tact and waited to do their celebrating out of the earshot of the women who had just been given worse news. Maybe I'm being over-sensitive though.

I judged the school situation because the child was running round shouting and behaving (in my opinion) really inappropriately. Fair enough bringing your child if you have no childcare, but I really don't get why you'd take them out of school to bring them to a miscarriage clinic especially when they can't sit quietly. I'm not sure how that doesn't have the potential to be distressing for both the other patients and for the child.

OP posts:
Frillsandspills · 10/07/2015 17:44

I don't think you're being over sensitive at all.
I've been to the EPAU clinic, thankfully [touch wood] everything for my was fine, but I was always very aware that that may not be the case for those around me.

Last time I visited though, I was waiting to be seen and there were two teenage girls one waiting for an early scan I assume because she'd had bleeding/pain as they don't do routine scans there, and both girls were laughing and joking generally being quite loud and you could tell the other people felt really anxious and probably would have appreciated some peace and quiet.

CoogerAndDark · 10/07/2015 17:45

Oh, I see! They were there for the same reason as you.

Yes, they were being inconsiderate knobheads.

CakeWouldBeNice · 10/07/2015 17:45

Maybe they didn't realise it was the EPAU waiting room. The hospital needs to make patients aware if they can't rejig the entrance/exit.

It's really clear what the waiting room is for. It's a special set-aside waiting room just for miscarriage patients and has a sign indicating this and only has info all over the walls about miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy, etc.

OP posts:
LokiBear · 10/07/2015 17:45

YANBU at all! I ended up needing a scan in an epu when I was 7 or so weeks pregnant and experiencing severe pain. My dd was fine, the pain was being caused by a different issue but she wasn't affected. I sobbed with relief but was told by the sonographer, sensitively but in no uncertain terms that other women in the waiting room would not be receiving good news today. She asked me to keep the photo in my bag until I left the building and not to talk about it in the waiting room. I'm so sorry that you are going through this, op. Flowers

CakeWouldBeNice · 10/07/2015 17:46

Oh, I see! They were there for the same reason as you.

Yes this is a special clinic in a different part of the hospital from regular pregnancy scans. The only people there are people who are having threatened miscarriages.

OP posts:
SunsetDreamer · 10/07/2015 17:48


When I had to go, the photos were put in an envelope and we were asked to keep them private until leaving.

Did the nurses nit say anything?

CoogerAndDark · 10/07/2015 17:49

Apologies, I was thinking of the set up at my nearest hospital and it overrode me actually rtft.

Teabagbeforemilk · 10/07/2015 17:49

Can I ask what epau means?

I was scanned in there a few years ago. I had a kidney infection and they did a scan. I had no idea until this thread that they may have been concerned about dd. They said it was routine. I was very young when I had her. I am quite shocked now.

myluckystars · 10/07/2015 17:49

Put a sock in it StonedGalah OP has just had a miscarriage!

Teabagbeforemilk · 10/07/2015 17:50

And no nurses mentioned other women waiting were possibly experiencing miscarriages. She gave me a photo and sentenon my way

Icimoi · 10/07/2015 17:51

I think it's really the hospital's fault. I know they haven't got unlimited space, but they should realise that people who've had good news aren't likely to keep it quiet and that it will be really distressing for others, and maybe send them somewhere else, or even send them to see their GP.

StonedGalah · 10/07/2015 17:53

Ok mylucky Hmm

Did you miss my post where l had similar after having surgery? Am l only allowed an opinion if l agree with OP?

SweetCharityBeginsAtHome · 10/07/2015 17:54

Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit teabag. It's there for non routine scans and a lot (most?) of the women there will be undergoing miscarriages or having other very bad news.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore · 10/07/2015 17:58

Perhaps they had another appointment in the hospital for the child. We have often had two separate appointments at the hospital and scheduled them for the same morning to avoid having to come back to the hospital again and again. Both my dcs have disabilities/SNs, so see various consultants. Ds1 is often in school uniform at these appointments as I then take him to school immediately afterwards, or if the appointments are in the afternoon then he has been at school.

TheUnwillingNarcheska · 10/07/2015 17:58

I had the same set up, ended up in there twice.

After my scan I was in the waiting room when a nurse asked to see me and led me into the corridor.

She gave me a scan pic of my baby and told me to put it away and not bring it out to show Dh etc who was in the waiting room because not everyone has good news.

I can't imagine taking a school aged child into an EPAU situation. If there had been bad news that is a very difficult situation. Plus the first time I had an internal scan, I could not imagine having a school aged child with me.

Itscurtainsforyou · 10/07/2015 18:00

I'm sorry OP, it's so horrible when that happens.

I've been on both sides. When I've had good news I've always kept quiet until I've left the hospital. Last time the sonographer reminded me that she's seen other people that day who had not had such good news so I should be considerate.

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