A mum who suffered a miscarriage is furious after tests were carried out on the remains of her unborn baby without her knowledge.
Laura Percival was heartbroken after the miscarriage 12 weeks into her pregnancy on September 7.
But she only found out what had happened to the remains of her miscarried baby when she spoke with a member of the hospital’s bereavement team more than a month later.
The 27-year-old told the Croydon Advertiser : “I was told that they had lost my notes, and they didn’t know where the baby was.
“I found out the remains had been taken to St George’s Hospital for tests, without my consent.”
In October Ms Percival said she was forced to wait hours in a room at the hospital by herself and told she had to have surgery after a pessary – a device inserted into the vagina to support the uterus – failed.
Doctors at the Croydon hospital had already confirmed she had lost the baby, and told her to wait in a room before they gave her more information.
Ms Percival, who has a son called Luka, was placed outside a special care unit where mums were spending time with their newborn babies, while she waited to find out how much of her baby was left inside her womb.
She described her ordeal as ‘the worst experience of her life ‘ , and hospital bosses pledged to carry out a thorough investigation.
On December 15 John Goulston, the Chief Executive of the Croydon University Hospital, wrote a letter to Ms Percival detailing what changes and improvements to services would be made.
For weeks after this meeting Ms Percival couldn’t get hold of the bereavement team at Croydon University Hospital.
When she did speak to them she found out the remains of her baby had been sent off for tests to St George’s Hospital in Tooting without her permission.
She added: “I stopped talking to the bereavement team and started to deal with the chaplain who told me that I could no longer have a cremation because of the remains which are left.
“Those tests must have been carried out straight after the surgery. I understand the tests were to find out if there were any markers to find out why the miscarriage happened.”
Ms Percival has had the remains of her miscarried baby returned to her and she now wants to hold a burial service at Croydon Crematorium and have a tree or rose bush planted the passing of her unborn child.
She added: “It is an ordeal which constantly plays on my mind. I really have struggled to get closure from this ordeal.
“Mayday [Croydon University Hospital] admitted they had messed up initially, and then to find out about these tests it has just been a heartbreaking experience.
A spokesman from Croydon University Hospital said: “We understand the distress that Ms Percival faced as a result of her miscarriage and we have been in regular contact with her.
“We have listened to her concerns and are continuing to discuss them with her, as well as offering as much support as we can.
“We follow national guidance to automatically send tissue from a miscarriage for analysis to rule out certain wider health conditions.
“These guidelines treat this procedure as routine and it isn’t something that patients are required to consent to.
“We release miscarriage remains to women who wish to have them. However, not all remains contain fetal tissue and sometimes they are solely tissues from the mother.
“In these cases, the law does not allow the remains to be formally buried or cremated, and the [Croydon University Health Services NHS] Trust is under a strict legal obligation not to sign the paperwork that would allow a formal burial.”
You can support Ms Percival’s online campaign for change by donating here.