A paramedic has been struck off for making a string of inappropriate comments to a woman having a miscarriage - including saying the colour of blood was ‘festive’.
Lucy Bambridge was called to the home of a woman who had earlier discovered her baby had died and had been sent home from hospital to return 48 hours later to deliver.
The patient, who was not named during a disciplinary hearing, was under the care of the Rosy Maternity Unit of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but dialled 999 when she started to suffer contractions and bleeding.
A Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service heard that Bambridge and a colleague from East of England Ambulance Service were called to her home on November 28, 2017.
It was as the woman delivered her dead baby that Bambridge made a series of inappropriate comments, including saying at one point: “I don’t know what to do.”
The patient told the tribunal: “I can’t begin to tell you how terrifying it is to hear that in a situation like this.
She added: “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.”
She also described how one of the emergency service workers had described the blood as ‘festive’.
“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’.”
Bambridge’s colleague, an emergency medical technician, said: “It appeared to me that this comment was made in relation to the festivities of Christmas as it was November.”
The patient also described how when the time came to cut the umbilical cord, a pair of scissors were “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’,” she said. “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.”
Ms Bambridge, who resigned in December 2017 and now lives in Australia, said in a statement: “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.”
The panel decided she should be struck off the register.