Dangers of clotting during pregnancy

May 9, 2011 3:16:53 PM PDT
A serious blood disorder threatened Jahnae Holt's chances of motherhood.

But a team of doctors, a precise combination of drugs, and endless support helped Jahnae beat the odds.

Dysfibrinogenemia is a blood disorder that can cause patients to bleed or clot too much, and it can be especially dangerous in pregnant women.

The disorder causes patients to bleed or clot too much. The condition can be especially dangerous in pregnant women.

The past nine months have been anything but easy for Jahnae. She has a rare blood disorder called Dysfibrinogenemia, and pregnancy increased her risk of blood clots and bleeding.

"Everyone clots when they get cut or something, but with my condition, I clot a lot faster," she said.

Every second spent with baby Jason is a treasured one for new mom Jahnae.

"Everything he does is cute to me," she said.

Jahnae's mom, grandmother and great-grandmother also were diagnosed with the disorder. Two of her uncles died from it.

Doctors told Jahnae they would have to watch her carefully throughout her pregnancy, especially after she miscarried her first baby.

Jahnae's mother almost died when she gave birth to her, and she plans to have her baby tested for the disorder one day. There are only about 200 to 300 families with the inherited type of this condition.

"Based on her family history, it's considered a serious disease in her," said Dr. Amr Hanbali, a MD Hematologist/Oncologist from Henry Ford Hospital.

More than a dozen doctors and nurses followed Jahnae during her high-risk pregnancy. She received daily injections of blood thinner and twice-a-week infusions of a drug to thicken her blood.

If her blood was too thin, she could bleed out. If it was too thick, she could develop a dangerous clot.

Jahnae also wasn't allowed to get an epidural during delivery.

"An epidural carries a high risk of bleeding, and the last thing we needed was bleeding in the spine," said Angela Lambing a Nurse Practitioner and Coordinator from The Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center at Henry Ford Hospital.

The specialized treatment plan came at a cost, daily injections ran $100 a pop, and the twice-a-week infusions were $1,600 a dose. Luckily, insurance and support programs helped out with most of the cost.

"It was a very big team approach. Everybody was involved in making sure she had everything she needed," said Angela.

Most importantly, Jahnae had a healthy baby boy. An outcome she said was well worth it.

"It hasn't fully set in that this is my child," said Jahnae.