"losing our baby boy"

About: Chorley & South Ribble Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

In September 2013 I went to the delivery suite at royal Preston hospital and was found to be in premature labour at 23 weeks + 3 days. I was put onto a drip to try and stop my labour but after several hours I developed chest pains and so the drip was stopped.

I was constantly monitored and that evening I went into full labour and our son was born early the next morning. The neonatal doctor and nurses were there to attempt and intubate our son but all we kept hearing was that he wasn't viable. This went on for 13 minutes and eventually the Dr and the team stopped trying. The midwife wrapped our son up and passed him to me. I could see his chest rising and falling and shouted out that he was breathing and the Dr said that he wasn't. Dr and team then left the delivery room. Myself and my husband were angry that nothing more could be done and we expressed our anger to the midwife. The midwife left us to have some private time with our son and we had to wait and watch our son die which took 50 minutes.

Dr came back into the room and told us we were very lucky that the neonatal team came to try and save our baby because at 23 weeks they usually didn't bother and then left the room. We were both in complete shock that a Dr would even say to anyone what we had just heard. When the midwife came back into the room, we told her what had been said and she seemed astonished at what was said. We left that afternoon after taking our son to the chapel. The midwives could not have done any more for us than they did. They were very competent and professional but also sympathetic.

On the following Monday the lady from the bereavement team came to see us and talked to us in great detail about what would now happen and the services available to us. We talked to her about our experience in the delivery suite and she seemed ashamed that that was how we had been spoken to. We wanted to put a complaint in into the way our son had been treated or not as we feel. However we were told that if we wanted to do that then the death certificate couldn't be signed and our son would have to have a post mortem, which was something I didn't want to happen. Our son was perfect and we didn't want him cut into. We had consented to umbilical testing and my placenta tested and felt that that was enough.

In the eyes of myself and my husband we don't think that the Dr in question had done all they could to save our son because all the doctor kept saying was he's not viable he's not viable over and over again. We have been back to see my consultant and got the results of the tests carried out on the umbilical cord and placenta. The results were they found a large blood clot in the placenta and they feel that could have started my labour off prematurely. We expressed our feelings of future pregnancies and how I would be treated and a care plan has been put in place.

I haven't been able to do this before now as I have really struggled to come to terms with our loss and only recently, after a complete meltdown, felt I needed to do this to help me move forward. After thinking back to the beginning of my pregnancy and my first appointment with the midwife and then Dr at Chorley Hospital, I was told by the midwife that I was high risk of blood clots and would probably be put on clexane injections every day from 16 weeks. However when I went into see the Dr he said I would only need clexane injections after the birth or if I was bed ridden. So I feel that if I had the clexane injections my story might have been so different.

I am absolutely terrified now of future pregnancies and having to go to Preston Hospital for the birth. I will be asking to go to a different hospital for my treatment and birth as I couldn't risk having a premature baby and them being under the care of that Dr. I wouldn't be able to stop myself from telling the doctor exactly what I think of them and how they treated our son.

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Response from Rhona Hartley, Head of Patient Experience and Customer Care, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you very much for sharing your painful experience with us and for the very kind comments you made about the midwifery staff at what is a very difficult time for you and your family.

We’re so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby son and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns further with you and your husband if you feel that it would be helpful to do so.

If so, can I ask you to please contact the Customer Care Department on 01772 522521, who will make the arrangements for you to meet with relevant senior staff.

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Response from Chorley & South Ribble Hospital

Thank you for telling us of your experince. We were so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail. If you are happy to do so, can we ask you to please contact our Customer Care Department on 01772 522521.

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