Tuesday 4 January 2011

The Archers #SATTC*

My husband loves the Archers, its an incredibly long running radio drama on BBC Radio 4. 60 years! It's set in the country in Ambridge, a fictional village somewhere. I don't really understand it myself, having only heard snatches when held captive in the car, or washing up on a Sunday morning.

This week the Archers had a dramatic story line, someone fell off a roof and died, and another character, Helen, pregnant with her IVF baby, got rushed to hospital. She had swollen ankles, a headache, was seeing spots. Helen had developed pre eclampsia. What is concerning is that Helen is 7 months along in her pregnancy and had never heard of pre eclampsia. The baby has to be delivered 6 weeks early.

In the UK we are screened from the outset for pre eclampsia. At each appointment it is explained what the signs are, and what to look for. In this episode its a locum midwife who diagnoses her, and sends Helen straight to hospital, completely ruining a family party! Social suicide in Ambridge!

Her delivery was so quick! Whisked into theatre, and the little boy was whipped out and taken to the special care baby unit, and her family all go back home and crack open the champagne. Helen gets to go straight to the special care baby unit, no bed rest, what about the risk of Eclampsia post delivery? I guess you can't really do magnesium sulphate infusions, and 15 minute monitoring on radio, but the little boy, Henry didn't even get his steroids.

If I could have a Helen delivery, I'd have another baby, develop pre eclampsia at a party, go to hospital, have the baby delivered, and half an hour later, sit in special care holding my recently delivered baby born at 34 weeks! Grandad could even hold said baby on the day of delivery!

I think its great that the BBC has had this story line, but is it really too much to ask that integrity be preserved in these story lines. And don't even get me started on Eastenders ridiculous story line around Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Auntie Beeb we do expect better. We dutifully pay our tv licence, and we expect honesty, integrity and compassion for those of us who have really lived these stories.

*SATTC - Twitter tagline for Shocking Ambridge to the Core

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kylie, just found your blog via the bliss forum so thought I'd come and have a look as I'm also a blog writer, although mine is about crafts and homey things. I'm Fiona, Frederick's Mum who's having the hernia op tomorrow. Thanks for your comments on the subject on the forum. It's made me feel so much better reading the experiences of you other Mums and babes. So glad to have found the bliss website. As for the Archers, I really agree with what you're saying. I have actually always been an Archers fan as I grew up with my Mum and Dad listening to it. I had got out of the habit of listening to it though for months now but started listening again for the 60th anniversary. I too thought that they didn't handle Helen's story line well at all. Certainly nothing like my experience of having a prem baby. Even the fact that she just matter of factly said she'd started expressing her milk after just a few hours. For me, that was a total nightmare and took a good 48 hours to get going.It is a shame when TV or radio decides to cover a major subject but doesn't get it quite right.
    Anyway, sorry this is a really long comment so I'll finish now. Just wanted to say hello.