"Maternity care - thought the post natal ward was appalling"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

After a magical delivery I developed a concealed primary post partum haemorrhage due to retained placenta. I went into hypovolaemic shock. For five hours I complained of feeling sick, cold and shaking uncontrollably,I was unable to sit up and I developed blind spots in my vision and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. During this time I wasn't listened to and I feel two midwives in particular treated me as though I was a pathetic whinger. After an extremely frightening emergency visit to theatre for an evacuation under GA and a 4 unit transfusion, I woke up on HDU unable to breath because I had gone into pulmonary oedema.

I ended up on the critical care unit requiring CPAP.

48 hours later I was transferred to a post natal ward.

It seemed that the midwives sole concern here was breast feeding which I couldn't do because I had lost my milk supply. I was made to feel like a third class citizen because I wasn't breastfeeding - even though I wasn't able to.

My feet were extremely swollen from being immobile whilst I was on CCU and HDU.

I asked for TED stockings 4 times because I recognised I was high risk for DDVT - my request was refused until the fourth request when they were given to me because I was in floods of tears. I was told I really didn't need them but I could have them to ease my anxiety. I was left overnight (for 12 hours) with no checks on me or the baby in a side room. By this time I was having flashbacks and was petrified to sleep. I was confused and frightened and disorientated from lack of sleep. All I knew was I had to feed and clean my baby.

I later discovered that the ward staff had no idea that I had been back to theatre , required a 4 unit transfusion, experienced pulmonary oedema and been on CCU on CPAP. It had not been handed over.

Further I felt I was also not allowed to see a doctor to discuss my care until my husband threatened to take me home because I was so scared of the lack of care I was receiving on the ward. It was at this time 24 hours after arriving on the post natal ward that my DVT risk assessment was finally done and they realised I was very high risk and needed 6 weeks of TED stockings wear and 5 days of SC clexane.

Even the discharge summary they sent to my GP missed off the fact I had complications and in fact was addressed to a GP 120 miles from where I live.

A year later I am still being treated for post-traumatic stress and I am too scared to have a second child.

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Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear that you felt so let down by us . We would be very grateful if you would contact our Patient Services Team on 0114 271 2400 or email PST@sth.nhs.uk in order to obtain further details from you to look into your concerns.