Bringing a child into the world, while beautiful, can be a delicate procedure as both mother and baby’s lives are at stake.
Earlier this week, a man recounted his painful experience of losing his baby after his pregnant wife endured a 2-hour wait unattended at the National University Hospital (NUH).
Pregnant Lady Loses Baby After Alleged 2-Hour Wait In A&E, NUH Investigating
On Wednesday (23 Mar), NUH apologised for the incident. The hospital’s chief executive officer (CEO) Aymeric Lim said they should have done more to monitor and care for the woman.
NUH will be reviewing its process of managing pregnant patients admitted into the emergency department (ED).
On Wednesday (23 Mar), NUH issued an apology for the 2-hour wait that ended in a pregnant lady losing her baby.
According to The Straits Times (ST), Professor Lim admitted that the hospital should have done more by monitoring and caring for the lady more closely.
Under the circumstances, she should not have had to wait for 2 hours.
Professor Lim also said that NUH is reviewing its processes for managing expectant patients in the ED so such incidents will not happen again.
NUH’s apology comes on the heels of a Facebook post by the lady’s husband.
On Thursday (24 Mar), NUH shared what happened on the day of the incident in a lengthy Facebook post.
The hospital said the expectant patient was admitted to NUH ED on 15 Mar at about 10.35pm for bleeding. Upon arrival, healthcare staff reportedly attended to her right away.
After assessing her situation, they noted that she was stable and her bleeding had subsided on her way there. The patient’s vital signs were also within normal parameters.
Nurses on-site allegedly found that she was experiencing mild pain, at a 2/10 pain score.
At that time, the department apparently had a high patient load. They thus placed higher priority on patients who needed urgent medical attention.
However, they placed the lady next to the nursing station for “closer visual monitoring”.
NUH explained that patients in labour are typically admitted to the labour ward upon admission to the ED.
Since the lady was in early labour, staff made arrangements to transfer her to the labour ward.
However, it was full at the time and she ended up waiting for 2 hours. Admitting this should not have been the case, NUH offered their apologies.
Besides closer monitoring and care, the hospital should have updated the patient on her condition and transfer.
Once in the labour ward, the lady immediately underwent an ultrasound scan conducted by a team under the leadership of 2 senior consultants.
The team unfortunately could not find a fetal heartbeat, which they attributed to placental abruption, a rare and unpredictable pregnancy complication.
As NUH is one of three public hospitals that receive Covid-19 positive pregnant women who are over 36 weeks along, they have found it challenging to maintain a high standard of care for the large number of patients.
On the night of the incident, NUH was managing 3 pregnant women with Covid-19 in the ED and labour ward. All cases were reportedly urgent, which kept staff in the ED and labour wards busy.
Nonetheless, caring for all patients is still part of the hospital’s duty. They will thus be reviewing their processes for expectant patients.
NUH said they are deeply saddened by the family’s loss and will continue to provide care and support for them in this challenging time.
The hospital shared that they had met the family on Wednesday (23 Mar) to address their concerns.
Going forward, NUH will do their best to support them and ensure the patient’s well-being.
This incident was a tragedy that nobody could have anticipated.
However, every hospital has a responsibility to ensure all patients are given the adequate care that they require.
Despite suffering such a huge loss in their lives, hopefully, the family will be able to use their experience to ensure no other family goes through the same pain again if it is preventable.
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook and Mee Pok Tah onFacebook.
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