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Miscarriage/pregnancy loss

How was your miscarriage diagnosed?

9 replies

BeccaBarney · 03/02/2014 10:31

Hello ladies, I'm sorry to come here asking for information but my sister has been treated, in our opinion, appallingly by the NHS during the time of her miscarriage. I am looking for people to share with us their "stories" for want of a better word of how they were treated during their miscarriage. We are debating whether to make a formal complaint but want to see what is "normal" first. My sister was 5 weeks to the day when she started to bleed and she went to A&E where she was sent home without an ultrasound as apparently they wouldn't see anything any way and it wouldn't' stop her from miscarrying. A week later she was still bleeding, went back to A&E and again was told no ultrasound.

I am so sorry for all of your losses.

OP posts:
firsttimekat · 03/02/2014 10:37

I'm sorry for your sisters loss.

When I went to A&E when miscarrying I also wasn't offered a scan (11weeks), this seems to be fairly standard in early pregnancy. In my own experience they also did a pregnancy test and being naive I was reassured when it came back positive, doc also said reassuring things. I now know that a test will come back positive for approx 2 weeks so not a good measure.

They said I should go to the early pregnancy unit the next day which I did and got a scan which confirmed the miscarriage. However the EPU will only scan from 7 weeks at my hospital so not sure your sister would have been offered this.

I'm sorry for the way your sister was told, but unfortunately there really is nothing they can do at that stage and in my experience some medical professionals see it in a very dry way. Others were much more sympathetic.

CMOTDibbler · 03/02/2014 10:39

Unfortunatly, miscarriage services round the country vary from good to utterly appalling.

In your sisters case, clinically they were right as a scan at 5 weeks wouldn't be decisive as to whether her baby was going to be OK, but there are kind ways of saying this, and they should have recommended she see her gp and get a scan booked with the Early Pregnancy Unit.

MC1 was found at my routine 12 week scan. Utterly appalling 'care'
MC2 I knew I'd mcd, but had dismissive scan to check
MC3 had a scan when bleeding, treated like shit.

I made a formal written complaint about it all

bakingtins · 03/02/2014 11:18

Hi Becca I'm sorry your sister has had to go through a miscarriage. I think actually the clinical decision not to scan is perfectly correct at that stage of pregnancy, they don't expect to be able to see anything but a sac, and possibly a 1-2mm foetal pole at 5 weeks, a heartbeat does not usually develop until 6-7 weeks and so it is not possible to say that early on whether a pregnancy is viable (and only possible later on to say it is viable at that moment and not whether it will progress) There is nothing that can be done to affect the outcome with a threatened miscarriage. The other thing is that A&E is not the best place to go (unless it is an emergency situation e.g. haemorrhaging) and will not have facilities to provide early pregnancy scans, there is normally an early pregnancy clinic at the hospital where such cases would be referred if appropriate. However, the way that this information was conveyed and whether your sister felt appropriately cared for sounds like it was very lacking. Medical staff need to be reminded that whilst this is a daily occurrence for them it is devastating for the person concerned. I would suggest you make the lack of care and information the focus of any complaint, as I think medically they were correct.
I am something of a 'frequent flyer' at my local EPU after 4 losses, and am now a patient at the attached recurrent miscarriage unit. The care I've received has varied from great to appalling, it is dependent on staff you see on the day as much as their procedures. I have given them some constructive feedback on several occasions and I think over the 5 years since my first MC things have generally improved. I would wait until the dust has settled a bit and think about how any criticism can be framed as constructively as possible, as this is more likely to be taken on board to improve things for the next person in that situation.
Your sister, and anyone else in the family affected by her loss, is of course very welcome here for support. Flowers

bakingtins · 03/02/2014 11:20

I would also point her in the direction of the Miscarriage Association for very clear information, plus support helpline.

duvetheaven · 03/02/2014 14:02

I have experienced 3 MC's which have involved attending the hospital for scans etc between weeks 6-10. I have never thought of going to A and E as I usually phone the EPU. Did your GP's surgery offer you any advice?
80 per cent of the care I have received has been sensitive and caring. Sorry for your sister's loss .

MissHobart · 03/02/2014 19:45

First mc at five weeks, had no-one to ask what was normal, called 111 and got an emergency doctor's appointment, he referred me to a&e, EPU weren't even going to see me as was so early and had negative PG test in a&e. They did though and just chatted through my history and have me a swab and internal exam, no scan though.

Second mc, again at five/six weeks, self diagnosed, told my doctor a week later.

EPU didn't seem particularly arsed with it being so early. Felt very lost and alone. Hmm

healthyhippo · 10/02/2014 06:41

EPAC have been great both times. (9.5 weeks and 8 weeks). They have scanned me the same day I started bleeding and confirmed that things were measuring behind, and arranged follow up scans for a week later. They have given advice over the phone and their emergency number too incase I am worried. They have also offered early scans next time as I'm over 35.

The only thing I would have liked would have been more information on how bad things would be the first time as I really wasn't prepared for the reality of the miscarriage when it started. I was also unclear on what to do after (ie take a HPT after 2weeks) and how much spotting was normal. I therefore had retained tissue for some time after the first mc and positive HPT for six weeks.

PPaka · 10/02/2014 06:50

At 5 weeks, gp sent me to epu
They took bloods for hcg levels
Internal scan, while telling me that would be inconclusive so early
Told me to come back in a couple of days to retest hcg levels

Same process at 6/7 weeks
Very sympathetic

Incacola · 10/02/2014 07:08

Sorry for your sister's loss OP. I recently miscarried at 6 weeks and had great NHS care thankfully. My first contact was with the community midwives, that was who I rang when the bleeding started. They got me an EPAC appointment on the same day where I was scanned and told it was likely I was miscarrying but they couldn't be 100% sure. I was then followed up the next week at EPAC again and seen by a brilliant Sister who was informative, knowledgable and sympathetic. I agree with the other posters that A&E probably isn't the best place to go if you're miscarrying and would advise either GP or midwives.

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