A young mum learned she had suffered a miscarriage after waiting 12 hours overnight in a struggling A&E ward ‘packed with drug addicts’. Amy Rennie, 18, said she wanted to speak about her heartache following the agonising wait at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth in a bid to stop the same happening to others. The teenager had rushed herself to the hospital’s emergency department in a panic after she began bleeding heavily at home on the evening of 2 September. But the mum-of-one said that due to a huge number of substance abusers seeking treatment at the hospital she had to wait for more than 12 hours for a vital scan which revealed she had lost her baby at ten-and-a-half-weeks. While there is no suggestion the wait contributed to the miscarriage, Amy said she should not have been put in that position. She said: ‘Staff were dealing with people who were drunk or on drugs first and it was just horrible. ‘I know it can’t have been just me that’s gone through something like this. So many people that night were moaning because it took hours to be seen.
After already spending hours waiting in A&E, Amy was told she had another seven to go before a doctor could see her. She said: ‘I asked the receptionist whether it was still a seven hour wait for me given the circumstances and she advised me that there were only two people in front of me and then I could be seen.’ The young mum was asked to give a urine and blood sample but neither provided any answers. She said: ‘I explained to the nurse that I was still bleeding heavily and she reassured me that it was probably nothing to worry about.’ The fearful teen waited through the night without sleeping or eating and was eventually seen by a doctor at around 11am the next day. More hours passed and after a check of her cervix came back as normal Amy was finally sent for a scan. She said: ‘By this point I’d been there for so long, I just felt like crying. I was hungry, frustrated, stressed, and still didn’t know why I was experiencing this bleeding.’
Amy added: ‘When I got to the scan room they asked me another batch of questions, and then I was scanned by a midwife called Pam, who I can’t thank enough, she was very supportive. She scanned me, and even used a camera, before telling me that my baby was there, but with no heartbeat.” ‘The whole thing from start to finish was just the most horrible experience I’ve ever been through. ‘In the days that followed, I was in such a state, I couldn’t even look after my son. ‘I’ve still not been told what caused my miscarriage and I keep feeling like it’s my fault, even though I know it’s not. ‘Don’t get me wrong, the midwives I saw were all very supportive but it was such a long wait for the most awful news.’ A spokesperson for University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, which runs Derriford, said: ‘We’re incredibly sorry to hear of the patient’s loss and that a long wait impacted further on an already difficult and upsetting situation. ‘We would urge the family to make contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service so that unanswered questions can be explored with the correct clinical colleagues.’