Medic struck off after telling miscarrying woman: ‘Red is festive’

A paramedic who made a series of tasteless and unsympathetic comments to a woman who was suffering a miscarriage has been struck off by a tribunal.

Lucy Bambridge and a colleague were called to the woman’s home on November 28, 2017. The patient had already learned her baby had died and had been sent home and told to return 48 hours later for a scheduled delivery.

But after she began to suffer contractions and bleeding, the woman called 999. Bambridge and her colleague arrived and the baby was delivered.

But then Bambridge asked the distressed woman if she had “a Tupperware box or something” in her kitchen to put the baby’s body in.

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The patient told the tribunal: "I can't begin to tell you how terrifying it is to hear that in a situation like this.

"There was a bit of confusion with the clothes I was wearing.

"They helped me out of them.

"Obviously we had to be careful of our baby and I was trying not to look or let it fall.

"During my distress at this I was horrifically asked if we had anything to put our baby in? 'A Tupperware box or something in your kitchen?' We were speechless.

"They giggled nervously. Regardless of how awkward this situation was for them this was by no means a time to laugh.

"In trying to disperse the awkward atmosphere, one girl knelt forward to me and said, 'At least its not poo! We are bored of poo! And anyway, red is festive'."

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Giving her own evidence to the tribunal Bambridge's colleague said: "It appeared to me that this comment was made in relation to the festivities of Christmas as it was November."

The tasteless comments continued when the umbical cord needed to be cut.

She said: "The time had now come to cut the dreaded cord. A very significant part of any normal labour and normally celebrated."

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"You can imagine my surprise and shock when the pair of scissors was waved in celebration with a big grin in the direction of my husband, implying that he could do it for them. I just looked up at her and said, 'you must be joking'.

"They went to cut the cord. The girl holding the scissors said to me, 'Let's get this cut. You don't want all of this hanging out of you do you?' Another unforgivable remark."

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Bambridge said in response: "I feel deeply saddened that the patient feels this way regarding this incident, at the time I did the best I could with the limited training I had received from the trust.

"I had no intention of ever making anyone feel uncomfortable or unduly distressed. I have always maintained a high standard of professionalism required of me."

Bambridge resigned a month after the incident and has since moved to Australia, The panel decided she should be struck off the register.

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