Sarah Spite

Readily available blood saved mom's life

Sarah Spite, a third-grade teacher at Mt. Airy School in Cincinnati, hemorrhaged 32 weeks into her second pregnancy.

"I was diagnosed with placenta previa/increta while pregnant with my second child," she recalls. (In placenta previa, the placenta partially or totally covers the mother's cervix.) "I suffered from multiple minor bleeding episodes throughout my pregnancy."

About one in 2,500 pregnancies experience placenta accreta, increta or percreta, a condition where the placenta attaches itself too deeply into the wall of the uterus.

As a result, the placenta has difficulty detaching from the uterine wall, which can lead to hemorrhaging during attempts to remove it. The most effective treatment option is a planned Caesarean section with hysterectomy.

Due to the hemorrhaging risk, large blood transfusions are needed during delivery. That was the case with Sarah.

Thirty-two weeks into her pregnancy (full term is 40 weeks), Sarah began hemorrhaging and called 911. She was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where her son was delivered via C-section and a hysterectomy was performed.

"My surgical report states that I received eight units of packed red blood cells, six units of FFP (fresh frozen plasma), one six-pack of platelets and 10 units of cryo (frozen blood product prepared from plasma)," she recalled. "I am extremely grateful for those who donate blood!"

"My surgeons told me that had I not been at UC Medical Center, I probably wouldn't have survived," Sarah said. "I think some of that had to do with the fact that the blood products were readily available."

Sarah and her son, Jackson, now 7-years-old, are healthy and enjoying life with their family, which also includes husband Craig and older brother Landon.

Sarah Spite with her husband, Craig, and two sons