"My experience after an epidural birth."

About: Ipswich Hospital / Maternity

(as the patient),

I recently gave birth in Ipswich Hospital. After having an epidural during birth, I almost immediately started suffering from a horrible migraine that would only let up slightly if I was laying down. I believe I was suffering from a post dural lumbar puncture, as a result of the epidural. I understand this is not common, and although I am disappointed with my anaesthetist, I am more disappointed with many of the midwives taking care of me the days after. It seemed that many of them were not aware of what a post dural puncture is, nor were they aware of treating it. For almost two weeks I was unable to care for my baby, I had to call a nurse to change my baby's nappy, wrap them up, pass them to me. Daily I was being asked to get up and walk around, go take a shower, etc. Every time I tried to walk about, I felt it was only making the problem worse. I appreciate the many helping hands with my newborn, however I believe the lack of knowledge regarding the puncture left me with a haemorrhage on both sides of my brain. Instead of being encouraged to walk around I should have been laying flat for as long as possible. Although rare, I feel as if staff should be better trained in this complication. I am now left with only horrible memories of my birth, and a sense of failure for not being able to adequately care for my newborn for so long after birth. Days - weeks I will never get back.  

Responses

Response from Sandy Lewis, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton

Dear Mum of two

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

The birth of a baby is a very special time and we are sorry you missed the opportunity to care for your baby following the delivery.

Ipswich Hospital has a routine standard of care post epidural and we are concerned that it does not match the experience you have described.

We would really appreciate the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you in more detail so that we can use this information to assist on focusing our efforts where they will give us the best opportunity for improvement. I invite you to contact our Consumer Liaison Office on 0409 275 503 or alternatively via email WMH_CLO@health.qld.gov.au.

We would also like to ensure that your ongoing health needs, and that of your baby, are being cared for and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Consumer Liaison Office

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

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