Pregnant student nurse told her labour pains are kidney stones… until she spots her baby’s head

by Symptom Advice on March 8, 2011

When heavily pregnant Danielle Crowley started having contractions every three minutes she was convinced she was going into labour five weeks early.

But when she arrived at hospital blundering doctors and midwives checked her three times and dismissed her discomfort as kidney stones or back ache – as well as accusing the first-time mother-to-be of having a ‘low pain threshold’.

At one stage the teenager was in a toilet screaming in agony while staff ignored her and the only person who checked on her was another patient.

Fuming: Danielle Crowley, pictured holding her son Finley Porter next to partner Michael Porter, said her treatment had been outrageous

Finally, after an 18-hour ordeal, she gave birth in a side ward of the maternity unit in front of other patients and their visitors.

The student nurse has now lodged a formal complaint with Southend Hospital in Essex.

‘They made me feel like I was over-reacting and that the pain was in my head. there was no compassion or empathy,’ said Miss Crowley, 19.

‘I was told quite a few times to put my trust in them. you believe the professionals. They really let me down.’

I had a miscarriage after doctors sent me home twice

a pregnant teenager had a miscarriage on her sofa after doctors sent her home TWICE despite admitting she was losing her baby.

Traumatised Carly Cridge was left lying in a pool of blood after passing out from severe bleeding.

Ms Cridge’s partner mr Turner called 999 after she fainted from blood loss

Hours earlier the 19-year-old was told by an out of hours GP to ‘go home, take paracetamol and come back when you have had the miscarriage.’

The traumatic ordeal began on February 11 when she dashed to A&E after recognising the symptoms of a miscarriage having had one before.

But the GP at Walsall Manor Hospital, sent her home saying it was too early on in the miscarriage to admit her.

When Carly’s symptoms worsened she went to see a GP from out of hours doctor service WalDoc, who made the incredible statement.

The distraught mother-of-one passed out at home. her partner Antony Turner quickly dialled 999 and shey was rushed back to hospital.

Carly, who was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, said: ‘I’m furious as I don’t think they checked me over properly and they just kept referring me on.

‘Its outrageous. If they had done their job properly it could have been prevented and we would have a brother or sister for our son Joe.’

Miss Crowley, of Benfleet, Essex, was 35 weeks pregnant when she was taken to hospital by her partner Michael Porter, 20, an electrician, andher mother Lorraine Crowley, 51, a school nurse.

They arrived at 7pm on January 6 but instead of being put on the labour ward Miss Crowley was given an internal examination and put onto aside ward with five other expectant mothers.

‘The doctor said I was 2cm dilated but I was not in labour,’ she said.

‘They gave me pethidine but that didn’t touch the pain. I couldn’t lie down. I was pacing up and down the ward all night.

‘They said they were absolutely sure I wasn’t in labour and that the baby was lying in an awkward position or I had kidney stone.’

At 2am she was examined again and once more informed she was not about to give birth.

‘The doctor said I had a low pain threshold. I didn’t think I had because I’ve had my appendix out and coped with that,’ she added.

‘She said it must be a kidney stone or really bad back pain. I felt like she was looking down at me because I’m young and felt like I was making a fuss.’

At 7am Miss Crowley was given paracetamol by a midwife but three hours later the pain was becoming unbearable.

She said: ‘I was in the toilet screaming. my legs were shaking and I was rocking back and forwards. I felt like I needed to push and I thought that might help push the kidney stone out.

‘Another patient came and knocked on the door asking if I was okay but the midwives just ignored me. They walked past without saying anything.’

An ultra-sound scan at 11am again failed to identify what was happening and just two hours later she gave birth.

‘I was lying on the bed and I told my mum I didn’t think I could takeanymore. I felt like jumping out of a window. I felt I needed to push, Iheard a pop and my waters broke,’ she said.

‘My mum pulled the red cord and a midwife came over and said it was fine and walked off – but my mum looked down and saw the head coming outso she pulled the cord again.

‘I asked for pain relief but they said it was too late. the midwife told me not to scream.

‘Thirteen minutes later Finley was born. I was in shock. I had been told so many times I wasn’t in labour and wasn’t expecting to have a baby for another five weeks.

‘I ended up giving birth in front of five other patients, their visitors and their doctors who had come round. it was really embarrassing.’

Finley was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and weighed just 5lb 6oz. But he was perfectly healthy and was discharged with his mother two days later.

Miss Crowley said: ‘The doctors couldn’t believe it. They just kept saying “I didn’t think you were in labour”.

‘I’m angry because they didn’t monitor the baby. there was no heart-rate monitor and I’m sure it was as traumatic for him as it was for me.

‘The female doctor apologised and said she would write a letter but I’ve heard nothing from the hospital since.’

Miss Crowley has written to the hospital to complain but said she had not been put off working in the NHS herself.

‘Something like this makes you more determined to get in there and do a good job,’ she added.

A spokeswoman for Southend Hospital said: ‘We are sorry to hear of Miss Crowley’s experience.

‘We would urge her to contact the hospital’s patient advice and liaison service so we can fully investigate her concerns.’


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