Mum-to-be was told she had miscarried but Royal Preston Hospital doctor had got it wrong

A young mum-to-be was devastated after doctors told her she had miscarried, only to learn that her baby was alive and well days later.
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The woman, aged 20, was in the early stages of pregnancy when she began to bleed and visited Royal Preston Hospital for help on May 10 this year.

Fearing the worst, she was taken into a consulting room where she was checked over by a junior doctor who told her that she had sadly lost her baby.

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The young couple who live in Leyland were heartbroken and in a state of shock when the doctor informed them that surgery would be required to remove the foetus from her womb.

Royal Preston HospitalRoyal Preston Hospital
Royal Preston Hospital

The couple, who have asked not to be named at this stage, said the doctor then used instruments to remove some tissue from her body, without carrying out a scan to confirm the baby’s condition.

A senior consultant was then brought into the room and was informed of the miscarriage. A follow-up appointment was scheduled for a few days later and the bereaved woman was discharged home.

The young mum-to-be left Royal Preston Hospital grieving the loss of her unborn child and, in her vulnerable state, blamed herself for the miscarriage, her partner told the Post.

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But in a bizarre twist later that week, she underwent a follow up scan and was told the miraculous news that her baby was alive and well. The junior doctor had allegedly misjudged her baby’s condition and mistakenly concluded that it had died, without carrying out a scan to verify the situation.

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Now at 18-weeks, the baby is healthy and the couple are expecting to welcome their newborn into the world early next year.

Delighted that their worst nightmare was no longer the case and their baby was in fact healthy, the couple were nonetheless upset and concerned by the alleged error in judgement.

They said the experience had caused severe grief and had a profound emotional impact on them for a number of days before learning that their baby was still alive.

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The dad-to-be, aged 23, said: “It’s made my partner very anxious about the whole pregnancy experience.

"In the days after they told us she had miscarried, she was in a terrible state. She took to bed and it was horrible seeing her like that. She blamed herself.

"Obviously, it was amazing when we were later told our baby was still alive and everything was OK. But I really worry what would have happened if the doctor had taken out the foetus there and then.

"It doesn’t bear thinking about and we really don’t want anyone to have to go through this, so we’ve raised our concerns with the hospital who said they are investigating how this error happened.”

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The parents-to-be have made an official complaint to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and are awaiting a meeting with hospital management.

Statement from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

A Lancashire Teaching Hospital spokesperson said: “We are in the process of investigating this complaint and will be in touch with the couple formally once this has been completed.

“Whilst we cannot comment on the specifics of this case while the investigation is ongoing it is important to note that in early pregnancy, bleeding can be a sign of threatened miscarriage and an internal examination using a speculum may take place which is perfectly normal.

“A scan is then arranged as soon as possible – often within days - to determine whether a heartbeat can be detected so that the anxiety of parents is kept to a minimum and the appropriate care can take place.

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“We would always encourage patients to talk to our staff if they are worried when using any of our services, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service is available if they do not feel they can speak to the person delivering care or would like to speak to someone independently.”

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