Barbara is a 28-year-old woman. She recently took an at-home pregnancy test which came back positive. She and her husband were very excited about having their first child. Barbara called a local obstetrician’s office and made an appointment to be seen the following week. Barbara calculated that she was about five weeks pregnant.
One morning soon after, and before her visit to the obstetrician, Barbara woke up and noticed some vaginal bleeding. She was afraid that she was having a miscarriage.
Most miscarriages happen early—before the 12th week of pregnancy—and sometimes happen before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. In fact, 10% to 20% of all pregnancies are known to result in miscarriage and the number is likely much higher because they are never even recognized. Most miscarriages are the result of what is called a “non-viable” pregnancy. Often, this is due to a chromosomal abnormality that prevents the fetus from developing further, and there are no medical interventions that can prevent this.
Even so, having a miscarriage is a traumatic experience, and many women do not know what to do next.
After discovering the bleeding, Barbara called the obstetrician’s office. They told her to go to the emergency room and barely talked to her. Her anxiety was growing and she felt like the obstetrician’s office was not at all responsive to her needs. They explained nothing to her over the phone, instead merely directing her to the emergency room.
Anxiety grew to fear—it must be serious if she had to immediately go to the ER.
As Barbara’s husband drove her to the ER, Barbara called Amaze. She was immediately connected to a physician assistant (PA) with experience in women’s care and who has two children of her own. Amaze’s PA explained that “yes, it could be a miscarriage.” Barbara and her Amaze partner discussed the commonality of early-stage miscarriages, why they happen, why there was nothing Barbara could have done to prevent it, and why most miscarriages aren’t really an emergency.
It was also explained to Barbara that in the ER, they would do an ultrasound to determine if there was anything more that needed to be done and that it would be very expensive and impersonal if done in the ER. Together Barbara and her medical partner agreed that she really should be seen in the obstetrician’s office.
So, Amaze called the obstetrician’s office to advocate on Barbara’s behalf, explaining the situation, and emphasizing that sending a woman to the ER in this situation was essentially negligent. It wasn’t negligent medical care, per se, it was negligent patient care.
It was negligent on a human level and it was negligent on a financial level. Barbara was scared and the ER would just traumatize her that much more. The obstetrician’s office relented and told Amaze to go ahead and send Barbara there. They would make time for her.
The above story is just one more example of how Amaze educates and advocates for its members. Amaze is a medical provider first and foremost, but we are also here to help our customers navigate and deal with their other medical providers.