“Wrapping myself in cotton wool“: Australian women's experience of being diagnosed with vasa praevia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2014, 14 (1), pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
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© 2014 Javid et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Background: Vasa praevia (VP) is an obstetric condition that is associated with significant perinatal mortality and morbidity. Although the incidence of VP is low, it is one of the few causes of perinatal death that can be potentially prevented through detection and appropriate care. The experience of women diagnosed with or suspected to have VP is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and impact that a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of VP had on a group of Australian women.Method: A qualitative study using a descriptive exploratory design was conducted and Australian women diagnosed with VP were recruited via online methods in 2012. An inductive approach was undertaken and interviews were analysed using the stages of thematic analysis. Results: Of the 14 women interviewed, 11 were diagnosed with VP during pregnancy with 5 subsequently found not to have VP (non-confirmed diagnosis). Three women were diagnosed during childbirth with one neonatal death. Five major themes were identified: feeling like a ticking time bomb; getting diagnosis right; being taken seriously; coping with inconsistent information; and, just a massive relief when it was all over.Conclusions: This is the first study to describe women's experience of being diagnosed with or suspected to have VP. The findings from this research reveal the dilemmas these women face even if their baby is ultimately born healthy. Their need for clear and consistent information, sensitive care, support and continuity is evident. Clinicians can use these findings in developing information, counselling and models of care for these women.
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