Grieving mother given her baby's remains 'in a bag' after miscarriage

Sep 23, 2015 at 10:47 a.m. ET
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Sallie Axl, a Manchester-based model and DJ who once appeared on reality TV show Big Brother, has made a shocking claim about how she was treated by a hospital after she miscarried.

Axl, 27, revealed on her Facebook page that she nearly died after she was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester with an infection earlier this year, seven weeks after having a miscarriage.

The model claimed that "the hospital didn't remove my child and left the baby to infect me […] causing me to have a type 4 hemorrige losing 40% of my blood" (sic). On July 17 she received her "dead baby at St Mary's hospital in a box and a plastic bag."

Axl, who is already mother to daughter Nirvana, said she had “never been so scared” in her life when she was taken into theatre to have emergency surgery.

"I woke up in blood stained bed and gown it took days for the nurses to change them leaving me in the reminders of the miscarriage and blood all over the floor," she wrote. "There was no compassion and one nurse referring to my unborn child as a "IT" talking about getting her tested and speaking about taking a sliviring off my baby." (sic)

"My dead baby was treated no more than someone handing over me a takeaway (sic)," she stated.

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Manchester Evening News published a statement from Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust which said: "Although we are unable to comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality, we are very proud of our services to support women who have undergone a miscarriage. We are really very sorry if this has not been the case on this occasion. Unfortunately the family have not contacted us directly, and we would encourage them to make contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service so we can address any concerns."

More: How to handle a friend's pregnancy after you've miscarried

What happens after a miscarriage in hospital?

There is no law to govern what happens to babies who die during pregnancy before 24 weeks, says the Miscarriage Association. (Bodies of stillborn babies — those born dead after 24 weeks of pregnancy — and those who are born alive but then die, must by law be buried or cremated.)

Most hospitals offer a basic funeral and a choice of burial or cremation after a late miscarriage. Certain hospitals offer this for all babies, no matter how early the loss and whether the baby's body was fully formed or not. However some hospitals may still treat the remains of a loss in early pregnancy as clinical waste.

A nurse or midwife on the ward where you received care, the hospital chaplain or bereavement service, or the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison) officer can tell you what the specific arrangements are at your hospital.

The Miscarriage Association Helpline is 01924 200 799; open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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