Karyn of Delaware had begun showing signs of placenta percreta 24 weeks into her second pregnancy. “Placenta percreta occurs when the placenta penetrates through the entire uterine wall and attaches to another organ” according to the American Pregnancy Association (2006). Placenta percreta is the rarest and most severe form of placenta accreta with only a 5% risk rate.
At 29 weeks, Karyn began to bleed and she was placed on hospital bed rest until delivery due to the potential for hemorrhaging. “I needed to be where they could get me into surgery quickly and where there would be blood products available, so they kept me inpatient for five weeks on bed rest,” says Karyn.
Karyn was scheduled for a cesarean at 34 weeks. Prior to delivery and surgery, she first went to interventional radiology. Balloon catheters were inserted through her groin to the uterine arteries to cut off some of the blood flow since hemorrhaging was one of the biggest concerns during delivery. After she was prepped, Karyn was moved to a trauma operating room. Karyn gave birth to her beautiful son Wyatt on May 21, 2014. After a quick kiss, Wyatt was moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the doctors began performing surgery on Karyn. Given the extent of Kayrn’s condition, a hysterectomy and repair to her bladder was required. During surgery she received nine units of blood products: four units of red blood cells and four plasma products to replace the blood she was quickly losing, and one platelet product to assist in clotting.
Karyn remained awake throughout the entire procedure with her husband by her side for comfort. “He kept looking at the ground, and I was like, ‘what are you looking at? Are you going to pass out?’ and he was like, ‘no’; afterwards he told me he was just looking at how much blood there was because it was just pouring out of me,” says Karyn. “I could definitely feel it. I remember telling them several times, ‘I feel like I’m going to pass out’ and they were like, ‘we are giving you more blood,’ and I could feel myself coming back the more blood they would give.”
After surgery, while in recovery, she received three more units of red blood cells and ten units of cryoprecipitate, another blood product to assist in clotting. Her son only spent three days in the NICU and Karyn was released five days after surgery.
Karyn and her son, Wyatt, are happy and healthy today. To celebrate her son’s first birthday, the family decided to have an intimate party for family and friends and sponsor a blood drive with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, in honor of his birthday. “I thought it was a good way to pay it forward,” says Karyn.