Do you get a lot of false alarms coming in?

  1. I just wonder if it is fairly common to get expectant mom's who are, well, I guess you could say "paranoid" about going into labor and who will come to the unit several times for false alarms?
    There is one in particular I'm thinking of, who is 36 wks and who was woken out of a dead sleep at 2AM sick as a dog, thought she was going to vomit, her stomach balled up in pain, her back hurt really bad and she had diarrhea. She ran to the birthing center at the hospital and they hooked her to a monitor but when they checked her she was only 1cm and 25% and over the next hour there were no real contractions to speak of so they sent her home. Boy, was she embarrassed. Her husband was awake all night, they called the doctor and woke him up, and she feels really ashamed for causing trouble.

    How many false alarms do you usually get on your unit?
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    21 Comments

  3. by   NPinWCH
    My last 10 triage pts:
    1. 29 wk g2p1 c/o "sharp pains in my crotch when I move it also hurts when I pee" came from work. U/A, Rx for Abx and home.
    2. 36 wks g1 c/o "I think I'm having contractions". Home no ucs
    3. 39 wks g3p2 c/o "I never had contractions with my other babies and I delivered them both at 38 weeks, I had some cramps this am, maybe I'm in labor" Home no ucs.
    4. 37 wks g1 "I think my water broke and I'm bleeding." No fluid, 2 dime sized brownish spots on her panties, had sex "last night". Home.
    5. 36 wk g4p2a1 GDM with decreased FM. NST was reactive, blood sugars low. Treated and sent home.
    6. 33 wk g1 c/o "I keep throwing up" Pt vomited 2x at home in past 3 hrs, no vomiting in hospital. Fluids and sent home.
    7. 33 wk g2 c/o "pains every 5 min" UCs q 5 min, PROM, 3cm, Transferred.
    8. 40+ wk g4p3 c/o "Call my dr tell him I want to be induced." Sent home.
    9. 39 wk g1 c/o "I'm not sure, but I'm having pains every 4 min." UCs q 3-5 min, SVE 6cm. Admitted.
    10. 35 wk g3p2 known previa with bleeding. Admitted, emergent C/S.

    So 4 out of 10 needed to be seen, 2 could have seen their doc and the others were totally false alarms.
  4. by   magz53
    This "patient" wouln't be you again would it ???
  5. by   mitchsmom
    Quote from magz53
    This "patient" wouln't be you again would it ???
    LOL

    Our triages are about 50/50 as described above.
    Last edit by mitchsmom on Jul 12, '07
  6. by   shortstuff31117
    We do send a lot of people home. Sometimes if they would just call us first we could give them advice but most just show up. My last triage was a 37 week primip with c/o decreased fetal movement. Baby was fine, she was contracting but spaced out with hydration- sent her home. A triage I had before that was a teenager, 36week primip with ctx 7 min apart, could palpate one occasionally. Watching the monitor I could be pretty sure that she was playing with the toco trying to make it look like she was having contractions. Her friend asked me why I wasnt having her walk to encourage labor SIGH...Sent her home.

    Most of them I dont mind coming in, it gives me a chance to do a little education and encourage them to call first but sometimes I just think why are you here??!! Most women dont understand the concept of painful to the point where you cant walk or talk.
  7. by   matchstickxx
    We see plenty of "false alarms" where I work. Many are just women who honestly think they are in labor or are having a complication. They are all assessed and then appropriately managed or sent home after some education.
    We also see a few women who think if they come in often enough that we will finally just induce them because they are tired of being pregnant. I have heard a 32 week gestation mom plead to be induced because her older child was born at 30 weeks and he is "okay"...just had to spend a few weeks in NICU. :angryfire Needless to say, when she was found not to be in labor she was sent home. She was also sent home again, after assessment, about six hours later when she came back in. Now I know why she was so curious about how late I was working that night.
    Any pregnant woman who thinks she is in labor or experiencing a medical problem should call her OB and discuss what is going on. If she cannot get in touch with her OB she should come in to the hospital to be seen if she feels it is an urgent matter...Better safe than sorry.
    BTW, don't "feel bad" about "disturbing" your OB with a concern or possible labor. This is why they are paid the big bucks.:spin:
  8. by   rn/writer
    Went in four times with "false alarms" for baby #4. I had very strong Braxton-Hicks cxns, and I do mean very! Doc was kind and told me that the more kiddos you have, the stronger the false labor tends to be.

    The fourth time, I was past my due date, so they kept me and broke my water. DS was born two hours later.

    I had a total of 16 hours labor (I count from when you have to start doing Lamaze breathing) with five kids. Always had a suspicion that B-H contractions worked for me like doing labor on the installment plan. Got most of it out of the way before the actual big event. Shortest labor was DD #3. One hour and 52 minutes. Barely made it to the hospital.

    Hang in there MM. We're rooting for you (and the wee one).
  9. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from magz53
    This "patient" wouln't be you again would it ???
    Well, not again.

    Never had a false alarm before. When I went to my appointment today they did the last U/S (kid weighs around 7 1/2 pds already) and the doctor said I'm 2 cm dilated...we figure I caught the virus that has been going around, my kids had it and they said when you get as far along as I am and you get sick it can throw you into contractions.
    But everything is calm now. I'm still embarrassed. I know you are supposed to go when either your water breaks or your contractions get regular and 3-5 minutes apart but the pain I was in last night I thought I had broken the mold.
    Anyway, while I was hopeful it was time I certainly wouldn't try to manipulate them into inducing early. Wouldn't want to take a chance on harming little doobie.
    In fact, I told them when I showed up I couldn't tell if I was just sick or was trying to go into labor. And I live 30 min from the birthing center so I hated the thought of getting stuck on the side of the road.
    There were two OB nurses there, one was very friendly but the other certainly wasn't any barrel of laughs. She was quite large and kind of scowling and after I managed to struggle on the cot she flipped me over jerked the sheet over me and snapped those monitors around my stomach. I was sure to mind my p's and q's around her.
    But they were both yawning and tired, I really don't know how the night shift people stand it.
  10. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from shortstuff31117
    Most of them I dont mind coming in, it gives me a chance to do a little education and encourage them to call first but sometimes I just think why are you here??!! Most women dont understand the concept of painful to the point where you cant walk or talk.
    That's probably what they thought about me.
    When they hooked me to that monitor nothing happened that whole hour, but I feel sure if they could have measured that one loong huge contraction I had before I came in that made my eyes cross it would have measured for sure. Also, since I had my son at home with a midwife I'm familiar with the kind of pain that takes your breath.
    Which is why I made bee line over there to get my epidural before it got too bad. I'm a terrible wimp.
    But that big nurse didn't act like she had a lot of patience with wimpy pregnant women. In fact, I got the impression she wanted to throw me out on the sidewalk like bouncers throw drunks out of a night club.

    But I feel somewhat better knowing it is fairly common. I really did think it was "time."
  11. by   ajaxgirl
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    That's probably what they thought about me.
    When they hooked me to that monitor nothing happened that whole hour, but I feel sure if they could have measured that one loong huge contraction I had before I came in that made my eyes cross it would have measured for sure. Also, since I had my son at home with a midwife I'm familiar with the kind of pain that takes your breath.
    Which is why I made bee line over there to get my epidural before it got too bad. I'm a terrible wimp.
    But that big nurse didn't act like she had a lot of patience with wimpy pregnant women. In fact, I got the impression she wanted to throw me out on the sidewalk like bouncers throw drunks out of a night club.

    But I feel somewhat better knowing it is fairly common. I really did think it was "time."
    Did you end up going to Canada to have the baby or did you get health insurance?
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I advise one and all who had questionable labor to come in---it's never appropriate to advise otherwise. And I don't disdain or laugh at them, but there are plenty of "frequent fliers" who I think, just need a lot of reassurance and/or education as to the processes their bodies are taking on and going through.

    If you feel you need to go in to be checked, you GO IN. Period.
  13. by   CEG
    When I was about 31 weeks with my first baby I had about 3 days of irregular cramping and moderate pain. When I told my mom she panicked and told me to go to the hospital. I looked in my "What to Expect.." book (or as I like to call it, "Pregnancy is dangerous and you are killing your baby right now") and it indicated I could be in preterm labor.

    I went to L & D (alone, DH was in Iraq and my family was hours away) and told them what was going on. I could hear the nurses laughing at me from outside the room. I felt really stupid. My midwife reassured me and said she would rather have me come in for no reason than stay at home and have a reason. She made me feel a little better, but believe me, if anything is worse than thinking you are in preterm labor while you are totally alone and your DH is in Iraq, it is being made fun of by the people who are supposed to be taking care of you.

    Granted, I went to 42 weeks with that pregnancy so there was no imminent danger , but it was still an unpleasant experience.
  14. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from CEG
    ... if anything is worse than thinking you are in preterm labor while you are totally alone and your DH is in Iraq, it is being made fun of by the people who are supposed to be taking care of you.

    Granted, I went to 42 weeks with that pregnancy so there was no imminent danger , but it was still an unpleasant experience.
    I have to agree here, and I'm a little put off by some of the attitudes.

    Everything I had from the doctor's office says if you have any concerns COME TO THE HOSPITAL.

    I remember the doctor telling me what to watch for and adding IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS OR CONCERNS COME TO THE HOSPITAL.

    So you have doubts and concerns and you go to the stinking hospital and face ridicule for it. Like you are putting them out and you should know better.

    I'm also terribly offended that most people are so cynical they just naturally assume anyone who comes in and wants to be seen is there because they are looking to be induced so they don't have to be pregnant anymore, and they come to the hospital to take services away from people who need the help.

    Maybe there actually is a reason more women are turning against the hospitals after all.

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