Mum’s ‘fury’ after doctors at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, fail to spot potentially fatal retained placenta

Elizabeth Hart with baby Poppy

Elizabeth Hart with baby Poppy - Credit: Archant

A young mum has spoken of her “fury” after doctors at Queen’s Hospital failed to spot a potentially fatal complication when she gave birth.

Elizabeth Hart, of Harold Wood, told the Recorder she had been gripped by a high fever and spent two months in “agony” after her daughter Poppy was born at the Romford hospital in June.

The problem was that she hadn’t delivered the placenta and it had become infected inside her.

But even though staff had anecdotally suggested to her at the time – and later, when her worsening fever sent her to A&E – that she might have the condition, she alleges doctors at Queen’s “refused” to examine her.

“I was really ill,” she said. “I was sent back to Queen’s two weeks later and they admitted me to the gynaecology ward.


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“I told the gynaecologist how ill I’d been and she wasn’t interested. The doctor at my eight-week check-up wasn’t interested either.

“I was in lower-back and stomach agony and I didn’t have any energy. I’d tried to breastfeed, but I was too exhausted.

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“I didn’t bond with my daughter because I felt so ill and I had a bit of postnatal depression as a result. It made a big impact on my life.”

The problem remained undiagnosed until the 30-year-old visited a private gynaecologist two months later. The day after her consultation she delivered the placenta spontaneously.

A private gynaecology analysis of the tissue, seen by the Recorder, confirmed it was the placenta she hadn’t delivered back in June.

According to the World Health Organisation, retained placenta is potentially life-threatening if untreated because it carries a high risk of infection or internal bleeding.

And to make matters worse, makeup and hair designer Elizabeth, of Athelstan Close, said she had been unable to work during her illness.

But the brave new mum hopes to turn her experience into something positive by setting up a charity – Help! My Vagina Is Falling Out – to support expectant mums.

“I don’t want this to happen to someone else,” she explained.

“My aim is to build a network of midwives, social workers and mums with their own stories to help and guide women who are struggling.”

A spokesperson for the hospital trust said: “I am sorry if Ms Hart is unhappy with the care she received. We have not received a complaint from Ms Hart, but would be happy to look into her concerns if she would like to contact us.”

Visit www.helpmyvaginaisfallingout.co.uk for more information about Elizabeth’s charity.

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