- 12-03-2015, 09:38 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2013
This is something that I've thought about for months and it's something that I feel needs to be shared. The reason I am sharing this is to try prevent it happening in the future. When I fell pregnant, I researched the different options available for giving birth in Hong Kong. As we didn't have insurance, we didn't want to pay the extortionate prices for a private hospital. I realised that Queen Mary was the only option available to me. I wish the lack of bedside manner had been worst of it.
Giving birth at Queen Mary was one of the worst decisions of my life. It has left me completely traumatised.
After a wonderful early labour with my doula, we rushed in to Queen Mary when my contractions were very close together and strong. At the time I got to QM, I had been having contractions for 12 hours. I was in agony. Before labour, I had decided that I would have an epidural if I felt I really needed it. After 12 hours, I was begging for an epidural. I was in complete agony. In fact, I started screaming as the contractions were so intense and close together. After seeing a few student nurses, I demanded to see a doctor. As most know, your partner can't be with you before the delivery suite. Being on your own and in agony is difficult. I eventually saw a doctor, a man who looked early twenties. He was very heavy handed when feeling my stomach and when I wept, begging him for an epidural he told me that ' it would be very embarrassing to have an epidural if this wasn't real labour.' He told me that he would come back and check my dilation. He didn't come back. I really started screaming. Luckily my husband came in to check on me and seeing me in that state, demanded that I got seen to. They checked me and saw that I was 3cm and moved really fast to get me to a delivery suite. An hour later, they came in to give me an epidural. An hour is a long time when contractions are a minute apart. The care I got in the delivery suite was fine and I was so relieved to be out of pain. After a few hours, the nurse came and checked me and told me that they would be switching off the epidural so that I could push. Going from zero pain to full on contractions in a short amount of time was a complete shock to my system.
I pushed for two hours. They eventually pulled my baby out with a vacuum and in the process, they also cut me. My baby was delivered and afterwards, they took 45 minutes to sew me up.
My baby spent 6 nights in the baby care ward. They had damaged his head when pulling him out with the vacuum and because of that, he developed jaundice.
The care I received post delivery was appalling. I had to beg for new pyjamas as after the delivery, mine were covered in blood. They eventually gave them to me after grumbling about it. In six days of being on the ward, they didn't change my sheets once.
On the second day, I was in such agony and couldn't walk. I knew I'd be sore after childbirth but this seemed really bad. That same male doctor as when I was in labour came to check on me and looked down my pj bottoms, telling me I was fine. With just looking down the pjs, there is absolutely no ways he could have seen my wound. On the third day, I still couldn't walk. I kept telling the nurse and they offered me more paracetamol. I eventually looked 'down there' using a mirror. The sight will forever stay in my mind. The cut was gaping open and stitches were open and yellow. It looked infected and indeed it was. I then forced the nurse to look who then panicked and told the doctor. They gave me a round of antibiotics. That's it, they didn't clean it or check on it again.
After 6 days, I went home with my baby and shuffled and limped back barely able to stand up without assistance. I wasn't able to walk properly for over a month. I cried in agony every day. Eventually I went back to Queen Mary and demanded to be seen. They saw me and told me the stitches had popped from the infection. They pulled out the remaining stitches whilst i cried and screamed in agony. The doctor told me 'it doesn't hurt, be quiet.'
I saw a private midwife, she told me that it was the worst cut she'd seen in her career of delivering 500 babies. She asked if a qualified doctor had done it.
For two months, my mom (who luckily had booked her trip to help me out with baby for quite a while) had to help me clean the wound. I went for my six week check up at QM and the male doctor wanted to do a Pap smear with a speculum. This is whilst I had a huge cut which was still bleeding and raw and open. I obviously completely refused.
3 months later and still in complete agony, I went to see a private doctor. She told me it was infected again. She also told me that the cut was jagged and appalling- like I had been butchered.
Looking after a newborn is hard enough but doing that and also being in complete agony and dealing with the trauma of a bad birth experience, is very hard. I had problems bonding with my baby. I cried myself to sleep as I was in so much pain.
Within two weeks of seeing my private doctor the pain started to ease and the wound started to heal. 4 months later, I still have pain and realistically it will be another two months until I'm healed. I've had to see a psychologist to deal with post traumatic stress. She tells me that I'm one of many dealing with this after Queen Mary. My private doctor has told me that half the women she sees from QM, get this infection.
I realise that a lot of women don't feel like they have another choice in Hong Kong. This choice ruined a time that should have been very special. A lot of people say ' as long as the baby is healthy.' Of course that matters but Mom needs to be looked after too, mentally and physically. The care I received at QM ruined my first few months of having my newborn. I've had to spend a lot of money privately to deal with the problems that Queen Mary left me with. I wish I had gone back to my home country to have my baby. The bedside manner is not the worst thing to deal with at QM- it's the care. I wish that this was just a one in a million case, but so many women I've met recently are traumatised and physically hurt from that hospital. I urge women to go back to their home countries or to have insurance in place.
I've also met a lot of women who have had a text book birth and left QM in 2 days with no complications. One of my good fiends had a premature baby and they took care of her and her baby for a long time. They are both fine. I know bad care isn't happening all the time. However, the negligence at Queen Mary is becoming more and more common. It's getting busier and the care is greatly lacking.
We need another option in Hong Kong. There are currently two options, government or very expensive private. We need something in between. There has to be a third choice. I don't want other women to be left feeling butchered and powerless.
Having a baby is a scary and exhausting thing and doing that with added yet avoidable problems is not a great start to motherhood.
I urge women to talk about their experiences and be open and honest about it. We deserve the right to feel in control of our birth experience with professional and supportive medical care. Let's open a dialogue, please PM me if you want to share your experience so that we can support each other.
- 12-03-2015, 12:54 PM #2
Am so sorry that you experienced this. I agree the care at QM has deteriorated. The hospital is understaffed and the nurses/Drs overworked. I know this is not an excuse for what happened but this is the reality of HK public hospitals.
The HK Government is aware of the problem and hopefully with the opening of the new private hospitals we will have options in HK. Gleneagles from Singapore looks promising Gleneagles Hong Kong (GHK) Hospital
Glad you're finally getting the care and support you need.
Founder of GeoBaby.Com
- 12-03-2015, 07:40 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
Your story sounds horrible. I had a similar story in United Christian for my first delivery though not as bad. My stitches took ages to heal and my private gynac was angry when he saw them. I was induced and didn't get an epidural because I didn't ask early on. The resident doctor was rude and insensitive. The nurses though were great. You make a distinction between care and bedside manner but the latter is part of the former. How can they offer care if they don't listen to patients? I'm always amazed at how arrogant the residents are compared to the more senior doctors. Maybe they're just sleepy or defensive for some other reason.
I felt I should officially complain to the hospital authority but I was too exhausted and got pregnant soon after so I never did it. Your story is so much worse and if you feel up to it, I would write to the hospital feedback mechanism or the hospital authority directly. Or you can do a letter to the editor of SCMP- that really wakes up the government departments.
- 12-04-2015, 06:03 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2015
I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I also had a bad experience at QM. Sadly, I actually work at QM too! About two years ago, I was early in my pregnancy and started feeling severe cramps at work. I had a colleague walk me over to the emergency room. I was in the waiting area for 30 minutes bleeding and moaning in pain. They finally put me on a bed in the hallway and left me there for 3 hours. Then, some student came by and asked me on a scale of 1-10 how was my pain. A completely ridiculous question when I am clearly in agony. After about 5 hours, the pain subsided on its own and I still hadn't see a doctor. I basically just had a miscarriage and no one tried to help me. It was about 7pm on a Friday night when a trainee doctor came to examine me and confirmed I had a miscarriage. She told me that I could not have an ultrasound done until Monday, as the ultrasound technician had already left for the day and there wasn't anyone working over the weekend because it happened to be a public holiday. They told me I could either stay in the hospital over the weekend but no doctor would see me until Monday, or I could go home and come back for the ultrasound on Monday. I went home devastated by my loss and traumatized by the care I received. Luckily, I did get pregnant again and we didn't even consider giving birth at QM given what happened previously. We spent the money to go private even though it is very expensive. Worth every penny!
- 07-28-2016, 02:08 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2016
This is horrible and unacceptable!!!
I was considering giving birth at QM after reading mostly positive (but older) reviews on this hospital. But now I am hestitating!
Can anyone else share their more recent experiences at QM and how the delivery went? Did they at least try to stick to your birth plans and offered alternative options? Were the nurses helpful (not expecting "services" as that's in general pretty hard ask in HK but at least professional and caring as a medical worker)??? Any feedback is appreciated!
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