Doncaster mum-to-be praises hospital after life saved by MRI scan

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A Doncaster mum who could have lost her life giving birth has praised the detailed MRI scanning that helped her to diagnose her pregnancy complication.

Sarah Brewster, 37, of Edenthorpe initially found out she was ‘at risk of bleeding’ due to the position of her placenta, which was blocking the opening of her womb, at her 20 week scan.

Then under the care of Doncaster Royal Infirmary, she was told she would need to come back for a further scan at 32 weeks. However, this scan failed to show exactly where the placenta was – and she was referred to the Jessop Wing Maternity Unit in Sheffield where obstetricians and gynecologists are using MRI scanning and ultrasound to take detailed pictures of the womb, the placenta and the baby.

The Unit, which has become a regional centre of expertise for diagnosing the disorder, were able to diagnose her with placenta percreta, a life-threatening pregnancy condition that occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the wall of the womb. The condition carries a high risk of maternal death in the weeks immediately before and after birth, and is one of the main causes of maternal illness due to severe bleeding post-birth. Sarah, whose two previous children were delivered by caesarean section, said: “If I hadn’t had that [scan] the severity of the damage my placenta had caused wouldn’t have been picked up. As a result of the scan Dr Elspeth Whitby and Mr Andrea Galemberti could plan the operation and have everything prepared. If that hadn’t been the case then I could have lost my life.”

As a result of the diagnosis, the team were able to ensure that the ideal team of doctors, the correct equipment were at the operation so that the baby could be delivered safely and the surgeons could prevent excess bleeding due to the condition

“I lost a lot of blood, but Kitty was delivered safely and the care throughout was second to none. I truly feel that if it wasn’t for everyone at Sheffield I would be traumatised by the experience,” continued Sarah.