Expert care helps fulfil a family dream

RBWH mum and kids

Karen-Kay and her children Dakota and Lawson.

When Karen-Kay experienced increased bleeding during her pregnancy, her worst fears were realised. But the dream she and her husband had of adding to their family were eventually realised through the care of medical teams at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

When her doctor advised surgery for a miscarriage, Karen-Kay expected to be heading home after the procedure. Instead, she found herself being rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) to be met by a team of specialists.

“My treating team was unable to control my haemorrhaging and made the quick decision to transfer me,” Karen-Kay said.

With her husband, Greg, out of town for work, and concerned for her young daughter, Karen-Kay described the ambulance transfer to RBWH as “scary”.

Arriving at the hospital’s Emergency Department, she was met by a diverse team of specialists, including Emergency Department staff, gynaecology specialists, interventional radiologists and maternal foetal medicine staff.

“The hospital sent medical images across with me, so the team at the RBWH were well informed and developed a plan to treat me very quickly,” Karen-Kay said.

“During that initial period in the Emergency Department at the RBWH, I was also well informed. I felt looked after the whole time.”

“The doctors were really honest with me and told me the issues we were facing, the risk associated with the treatment, and they were clear about the risk to any future pregnancies.”

Karen-Kay was diagnosed with a scar ectopic pregnancy, a rare but potentially life threatening condition.

With her husband now by her side, they discussed their wish for more children and doctors agreed to try a conservative care plan.

Karen-Kay said she and her husband were kept informed every step of the way during her treatment. Her care continued with counselling and monthly outpatient clinics at the RBWH.

Months later when she learnt she had fallen pregnant, Karen-Kay and her husband returned to the RBWH for antenatal care as a high risk patient with the specialist team.

“I was again treated well,” she said.

“I saw the same teams throughout, which I found comforting. Even the staff doing my scans knew me and all the teams kept me up to date throughout the pregnancy on what they saw in the scans and when doing my assessments.”

“Delivery of my baby was planned to be by caesarean section due to the risks and I was delighted that several of the doctors who had cared for me wanted to be in the operating theatre to see how it all went.”

“I felt cared for by the whole team and was thrilled to have a healthy baby boy.”

There is limited data to guide medical and care teams with regard to maintaining future fertility for this rare type of condition, however the team at the RBWH had experienced similar cases and employed a treatment plan, which would deliver safe care and support Karen-Kay’s wishes to the best of their ability.

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