Mum describes horror at discovering potentially fatal retained afterbirth after Queen’s Hospital mistake
PUBLISHED: 09:34 13 August 2013 | UPDATED: 14:42 13 August 2013
A new mum has described the horror of discovering afterbirth had been left inside her after she gave birth at Queen’s Hospital.
Vicki Armstrong, 25, gave birth to daughter Maizie at the hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford, on July 18.
But after going home to Fourth Avenue, Rush Green, she started feeling feverish.
Vicki said: “After two days I started feeling hot and ill and I wasn’t getting any better.
“I had a bath and when I was washing myself I saw something hanging out from underneath.
“It was the membranes left over from the birth.
“It was terrible. I didn’t know what it was and I was really frightened. I was upset and crying.”
The afterbirth usually comes out naturally shortly after delivery and can lead to illness and, in exceptional circumstances, even death if it remains inside.
Vicki was re-admitted to Queen’s on July 20 to have it medically removed.
“I’ve had two kids before so I knew something was wrong,” she said.
“They took the whole membrane from the baby out of me.
“The doctor said she had never seen in her whole career something so big left inside a human.”
A picture of the removed membrane, which was around 30cm by 20cm in size, is available here. WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE.
Antibiotics were also needed to combat the infection that had started to spread.
Vicki is now demanding answers to what happened during and after her baby’s birth.
She said: “If a first-time mum found something they wouldn’t know what it was.
“I knew it wasn’t right so I’m quite lucky that I found it when I did.”
It is not the first time doctors at Queen’s have made the mistake.
Elizabeth Hart, 30, of Harold Wood, spent eight weeks in agony after the placenta was left inside her last year.
She has since started the charity Help! My Vagina Is Falling Out! to offer advice and support to pregnant women and new mothers.
The maternity department at Queen’s Hospital, where two women died in 2011, is now the only option for many expectant mothers after the delivery ward at King George Hospital, Goodmayes, was closed earlier this year.
Wendy Matthews, the director of midwifery at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), said she has contacted Vicki to “discuss the concerns”.
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