Saturday, April 2, 2011

Protein S Deficiency & Pregnancy

I’ve been doing a lot of research on Protein S Deficiency (PSD), the blood clotting disorder that was discovered upon my arrival here at the hospital. Unfortunately there aren’t many readily available resources, so I’ve pieced together the info I’ve found so far. (No, this isn’t necessarily a “fun list”, but maybe it will help someone else out there with PSD!)

What Is Protein S Deficiency?
-    Protein S is an anticoagulant, part of the body’s safety mechanism to stop clots forming where they aren’t supposed to!
-    PSD only occurs in about 0.4% of the population.
-    PSD  is usually inherited.
-    PSD is associated with a risk of clots in the veins and arterial clots which can lead to stroke or death. It even has a small correlation with liver disease and diabetes.

Risks in Pregnancy, If UNTREATED:
-    Blood disorders, such as this one account for 10-13% of all miscarriages and stillbirths.
-    Can cause a severe form of pre-eclampsia.
-    Most problems result from blood clots in placental blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to baby, which can lead to fetal death, particularly in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
-    Higher risk of placenta deterioration.

Treatment during Pregnancy:
-    A combination of low-dose aspirin and daily heparin or lovenox injections in the stomach.
-    A treatment procedure dramatically reduces the risk of miscarriage, giving an excellent chance of successful outcome.

Other Tidbits:
-    It is possible to have acquired PSD, meaning that it only occurs during pregnancy. This is what I’m hoping is going on in my case! We’ll have to have a trip to the hematologist after Jenaleigh gets here to confirm that!
-    If my PSD is not acquired, meaning I have it even when not pregnant, then there is a 50% chance of passing it along to my children.
-    The UK National Blood Service have advised people with PSD  (even if being treated) to NOT donate blood due to risks of clotting (untreated) or hemorrhaging (treated).

So, there you have it! Hopefully we’ll find out that my PSD only occurs during pregnancy, and since it’s pretty easily managed during pregnancy (as long as you know about it) we can go on to have even more little ones join our family. Thank you, Dr. P. for looking way back in my charts and seeing the subchorionic hematoma in week 5 of my pregnancy, and then insisting on drawing 4309823 viles of blood to test for blood disorders. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn’t caught this!

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