Teamwork for placenta accreta and other complicated deliveries

Karen Reed, M.D., was an OB/GYN with Norton OB/GYN Associates for three years and had been performing emergency deliveries as a hospitalist, primarily in Owensboro, for the past six years.

Karen Reed, M.D., has been delivering the babies in high-risk pregnancies for more than three decades and still feels the exhilaration of such a meaningful medical role.

“It’s the excitement of something new, a new challenge every day, every minute,” Dr. Reed said. “I don’t call myself an adrenaline junkie. It’s just the uniqueness of the job itself.”

An OB/GYN with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Dr. Reed has experience with multiple births such as triplets and quadruplets, with insulin-dependent diabetes pregnancies and with conditions such as placenta accreta.

Teamwork on the most complicated deliveries

In cases of placenta accreta, where the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall, Dr. Reed and Lyndsey D. Neese, M.D., also with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, have started working together as a surgical team with an ultrasonographer and an anesthesiologist. When the placenta has grown into the bladder or bowel, urology or gastroenterology specialists are consulted or added to the team, according to Dr. Reed.

Drs. Reed and Neese also have worked together in other challenging deliveries, such as when the pregnant patient’s body mass index (BMI) is over 40 or when they have multiple fibroids.

This team approach has worked remarkably well, according to Dr. Reed.

“Half the time we don’t even have to talk. We know what the other one is about to do,” she said. “It just flows so much smoother and our outcomes are much, much better.”

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Dr. Reed, who was an OB/GYN with Norton OB/GYN Associates for three years, has been performing emergency deliveries as a hospitalist, primarily in Owensboro, Kentucky, for the past six years.

According to Dr. Reed, she came back to Norton Healthcare because of Jonathan W. Weeks, M.D., medical director of Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, who delivered Dr. Reed’s daughter 25 years ago.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to come work with him,” Dr. Reed said.

Forming relationships in the antepartum unit

Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Reed grew up around health care and babies. Her mother was an obstetrics nurse.

“She tried to talk me into dermatology or radiology, something with decent hours, but there was no way,” Dr. Reed said.

Dr. Reed attended medical school at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and did her surgery internship and OB/GYN training there. She moved to Louisville in 1994 to join a private practice.

In her work with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Dr. Reed enjoys getting to know the patients in the antepartum units at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital or Norton Hospital.

“We develop a really nice relationship. Some of them can be in there three, four weeks at a time,” she said. “We get to know their families. And when it comes time, we take them to delivery.”

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