Mother who was in agony after childbirth discovers doctors left placenta inside her for EIGHT WEEKS
Elizabeth Hart said her doctors failed to deliver her placenta after she had daughter PoppyWas in agony for two months but said doctors at Queen's Hospital, Romford, refused to examine her when she went to A&EFinally diagnosed after saw a private gynaecologist who delivered placenta
15:07 GMT, 7 February 2013
02:01 GMT, 8 February 2013
Doctors failed to spot that Elizabeth Hart had a retained placenta after she gave birth to daughter Poppy
A mother has described her suffering after bungling medics left her placenta inside her – for two agonising months.
Elizabeth Hart, 30, says doctors failed to spot the potentially fatal complication when she gave birth to daughter Poppy.
In the eight weeks that followed, her battle with constant pain and exhaustion left her unable to breastfeed.
But she claims that doctors at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, weren’t interested in her plight – and even refused to examine her when she went to A&E.
In desperation, she eventually booked an appointment with a private gynaecologist, who told her that she had not delivered the placenta and it had become infected inside her.
She said: ‘I was really ill [after the birth]. I was sent back to Queen’s two weeks later and they admitted me to the gynaecology ward.
‘I told the gynaecologist how ill I’d been and she wasn’t interested. The doctor at my eight-week check-up wasn’t interested either.
‘I was in lower-back and stomach agony and I didn’t have any energy. I’d tried to breastfeed, but I was too exhausted.
‘I didn’t bond with my daughter because I felt so ill and I had a bit of post-natal depression as a result. It made a big impact on my life.’
She has now set up a charity to support expectant mothers.
‘I don’t want this to happen to someone else,’ she said.
DANGERS OF A RETAINED PLACENTA
The placenta normally separates from the uterine wall during delivery and is expelled from the vagina within 30 minutes after giving birth.
If part or all of it fails to be delivered, the uterus can't contract and close off all the necessary blood vessels. This means it will continue to bleed and it can lead to infection.
In extreme cases this haemorrhage can cause death, so it's extremely important that tissue is removed. If the doctor is unable to do this by hand then surgery is needed.
‘My aim is to build a network of
midwives, social workers and mums with their own stories to help and
guide women who are struggling.’
The make-up and hair designer, from
Romford, said doctors at Queen’s Hospital had mentioned the condition
‘retained placenta’ anecdotally but did not diagnose her with it
following Poppy’s birth last June.
Retained placenta is potentially
life-threatening if left untreated because it carries a high risk of
infection or internal bleeding.
A spokesman for Queen’s Hospital
said: ‘I am sorry if Ms Hart is unhappy with the care she received. We
have not received a complaint from Ms Hart, but would be happy to look
into her concerns if she would like to contact us.’
On the website she has set up, Miss
Hart explained that she struggled to breastfeed Poppy because her blood
count was half what it should be.
A spokesman from Queen's Hospital in Romford, said: 'I am sorry if Ms Hart is unhappy with the care she received'
‘After having Poppy, I felt seriously ill,’ she said.
‘However, the hospital and my own GP
told me there was nothing wrong with me, and that it was normal to feel
like this after giving birth. In fact, after my GP told me that I had
an alarming amount of white blood cells, I paid privately to get to the
bottom of the problem.
‘The only issue health visitors or gynaecologists from the NHS seemed to care about was that I was not breastfeeding.
‘The fact that I could not breastfeed because I was so unwell didn’t occur to them.’
Ms Hart has set up a non-for profit organisation to support women having problems during pregnancy or as new mothers. For more information visit: www.helpmyvaginaisfallingout.co.uk