Karyn's Story - Victoria Hospital, London

February 2017 - Miscarriage mishandled: We were ecstatic to be expecting our second child, when around 12 weeks I began spotting and having severe cramps. I knew something was wrong and went to the emerge at Victoria Hospital that evening. My bleeding had increased throughout the day and I was in a significant amount of pain, that is saying a lot as I had a home birth with my first.

I spent hours waiting in emerge to be seen, pretty typical, but I had told them I was pregnant and something was wrong... That didn't seem to matter to anyone I spoke to. I had my blood drawn before being taken into a room, it was done in a hallway on top of a soiled laundry bin, I didn't feel overly comfortable about it, but went with it.

Finally, I'm in a bed and eventually seen by an older male doctor, who decided to perform a pelvic exam right there, didn't even close the curtain all the way. As he's performing it I feel the gush of blood, as I'm trying not to panic. He doesn't say much, I question him about it and he gives me the "Oh it could be perfectly normal" then leaves, doesn't provide me with anything to clean myself up, I had to use the blood soaked sheet. My partner who was by my bed was terrified, couldn't fathom why there was so much blood.

Anyways, I'm sent home, with no answers, no instructions, no advice, just a referral to the early pregnancy clinic three days later. We're home for a few hours when the pain intensifies to that of labour... I'm doubled over in pain, hemorrhaging blood, then at 5am I completely miscarry, not prepared for this at all, no idea what I should have been expecting or what to do next... Absolutely devastated.

Went back to emerge the next day as I was not sure what to do. After another long wait, and blood draw, I'm seen by a pretentious doctor, who I've seen on more than one occasion and am already aware of his terrible bedside manner. This man should not be delivering news that you have miscarried... But that was the end if it, I was sent home. He didn't even do an ultrasound to ensure I passed all the tissue. Just a horrible traumatic experience. We suffered two more miscarriages that year, both of which I dealt with at home to save myself the pain, and indignity of dealing with hospital emergency room staff.

This was the first time I was mistreated in emerge when presenting with a women's health issue... so honestly I don't know why I expected anything different. My experience caused me to not seek medical attention with my second miscarriage and I chose to do the third one at home with the help of medication. We are pregnant again and planning a home birth, I am terrified we may end up in hospital as it is the last thing I would want. Thank God I have a midwife to advocate for me!

I didn't feel there was enough to file a complaint, but I did share my story and experience with my midwife... Sadly it is all too common of an occurrence.

Submitted by Karyn