A pregnant mum claims her newborn nearly lost her life after doctors had sent her home when her waters broke telling her she had wet herself.
Mum of three Tina Williams, ended up with an infection and her baby, Annie-Marie, was critical in intensive care for two weeks.
The 24 year old said she went to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, and “pleaded for help” but was told to go home.
Tina said: “They actually made me feel insane.
“I was mentally breaking down, because no-one was believing my waters had broken.”
She said she had been at home on September 9 when she felt her waters break, and her and her ex-partner hurried to the hospital where staff carried out a test but it came back negative.
Ms Williams said: “They said, ‘we’re going to have to send you home’. They said I must have wet myself.
“That was my third child. I knew my waters had broken.”
Concerned, but “not wanting to cause a scene”, she returned home.
After a sleepless night, she returned to the QEQM next morning, but says she was again told to go home, this time without being admitted.
She continued: “”My waters were still just leaking – they were dripping and dripping.
“I was in such a state, I came home and couldn’t physically talk. I was shaking, I was so, so worried about my child.
“I tried calling the hospital and they just said ‘there is nothing we can do for you’.”
Desperate, and worried about the smell of her amniotic fluid, Ms Williams rang her midwife who called her in to the Kent & Canterbury.
Ms Williams continued: “The second I walked in she said, ‘Tina, you need to be in hospital. I can smell your waters have broken. I don’t even need to test you to know.'”
Tina was taken by ambulance to the William Harvey hospital in Ashford, where her labour was induced next morning, on September 11.
Doctors used forceps to help deliver her baby in theatre.
At 3.45am on September 12, more than two days after she believes her waters broke, Ms Williams gave birth to Annie-Marie.
But she quickly realised something was very wrong.
She said: “They put her on my chest and my child was blue, and wasn’t breathing.”
Both mother and child had developed infections. Ms Williams was given a course of antibiotics and discharged from hospital, but her newborn spent nearly two weeks in critical condition in intensive care.
The mum-of-three added: “My daughter was fighting for her life.
“She had tubes in her nose, a breathing machine. They were pumping morphine into her. It was just absolutely awful.”
East Kent Hospitals maintain Annie-Marie’s infection was not caused by the length of time between the water breaking and her birth, as antibiotics given to Ms Williams while she was in labour would allegedly have prevented this.
She said, however, this could not be the case.
She said: “They couldn’t tell me what her infection was, but I knew in my heart it was because they’d left her in me so long
“She was a very healthy baby until that point. Her umbilical cord looked badly infected and inflated.”
Annie-Marie has made a full recovery and is now a healthy, happy 10-month-old.
Ms Williams added said: “It physically and mentally broken me as a mum. I’m still depressed now over it. It was so traumatising.”
Ms Williams plans to file a formal complaint against the QEQM, which is already being investigated as part of an independent review into the baby deaths and alleged maternity failings at East Kent Hospitals.
She said: “I am worried about other people’s children and pregnancies.
“I was pleading with Margate hospital to help me. I want for them to listen to ladies when they’re telling them that their body doesn’t feel right.
“My babies are my world, but me and my kid could not be here today. My daughter could have died.
“They’re playing with kids’ lives here. Babies should be the most important things in that department, and I don’t feel that was the case.”
Responding to Ms Williams’ concerns, a spokesman for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QEQM, said: “We are very sorry Ms Williams did not feel listened to when she contacted our maternity day care service.
“Now Ms Williams’ concerns have been brought to our attention, we have invited her to a meeting to discuss her care and answer any questions she has.”
Ms Williams believes she experienced pre-labour rupture of membranes (PROM).
PROM is when waters break prior to labour starting, because the protective sac of fluid around the baby has a hole in it that allows the water to drain away.
The NHS says the risk of serious neonatal infection in such cases is one per cent – twice that in other mums.
Midwife Amina Hatia, of childbirth charity Tommy’s, said: “National guidelines say that mum and baby can wait at home for up to 24 hours after waters break, unless it’s a high-risk pregnancy or hasn’t reached 37 weeks yet.
“Mothers should be given information at hospital to advise on what to avoid and warning signs to look out for during that time.
“Symptoms are usually feeling hot or feverish, changes to the colour or smell of amniotic fluid, or changes in baby’s movements – so if you’re sent home after your waters break, keep an eye on these things, check your temperature regularly and seek help if you feel unwell.”
East Kent’s maternity unit is under investigation following a series of baby deaths and other serious incidents.