Difficulties in the Management of Placenta Accreta Spectrum in Hospitals with Limited Resources

Objective Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) is a serious diseases, and the recommendation is that the treatment is conducted in centers of excellence. Such hospitals are not easy to find in low- and middle-income countries. We seek to describe the process of prenatal diagnosis, surgical management, and postnatal histological analysis in a low-income country referral hospital with limited resources.

Methods A descriptive, retrospective study was carried out including patients with a pre- or intraoperative diagnosis of PAS. The clinical results of the patients were studied as well as the results of the prenatal ultrasound and the correlation with the postnatal pathological diagnosis.

Results In total, 129 patients were included. Forty-eight of them had a prenatal PAS ultrasound diagnosis (37.2%). In the remaining 81 (62.8%), the diagnosis was intraoperative.

Although hysterectomy was performed in all cases, one-third of the patients (31%) did not have a histological study of the uterus. In 40% of the patients who had a histological study, PAS was not reported by the pathologist.

Conclusion The frequency of prenatal diagnosis and the availability of postnatal histological studies were very low in the studied population. Surgical skill, favored by a high flow of patients, is an important factor to avoid complications in settings with limited resources.

Training facilitated by inter-institutional collaboration and telemedicine: An alternative for improving results in the placenta accreta spectrum

Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) is a severe condition that requires trained interdisciplinary group participation. However, achieving that specific training is difficult without academic programs or hospitals dedicated to teaching PAS skills.

We describe an interinstitutional collaboration process focused on improving PAS treatment and facilitated by telemedicine. Finally, we propose a replicable model for other centres

Study Design
This was a retrospective, descriptive study including PAS patients treated over 10-years in a low-middle income country (LMIC) hospital (local hospital [LH]). We evaluated the clinical results and impact of interinstitutional collaboration with a PAS expert group (EG) at another LMIC. Virtual strategies of continuous communication between the LH and EG were used, such as telemedicine, teleradiology and telepresence during surgeries.

Eighty-nine PAS patients were included. We observed a progressive improvement in clinical results (intraoperative bleeding, transfusion frequency, postoperative length of stay and frequency of complications) as the LH fixed interdisciplinary group gained experience by treating more cases.

Interinstitutional collaboration (through telemedicine and remote supervision) and PAS team formation, were related to the best results in the most recent years of observation. Thus, ongoing PAS team training, facilitated by inter-institutional collaboration and telemedicine, is a valid strategy for improving clinical outcomes in PAS.

Management of major obstetric hemorrhage prior to peripartum hysterectomy and outcomes across nine European countries

Peripartum hysterectomy is applied as a surgical intervention of last resort for major obstetric hemorrhage. It is performed in an emergency setting except for women with a strong suspicion of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS), where it may be anticipated before cesarean section. The aim of this study was to compare management strategies in the case of obstetric hemorrhage leading to hysterectomy, between nine European countries participating in the International Network of Obstetric Survey Systems (INOSS), and to describe pooled maternal and neonatal outcomes following peripartum hysterectomy.

Material and methods
We merged data from nine nationwide or multi‐regional obstetric surveillance studies performed in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK collected between 2004 and 2016. Hysterectomies performed from 22 gestational weeks up to 48 h postpartum due to obstetric hemorrhage were included. Stratifying women with and without PAS, procedures performed in the management of obstetric hemorrhage prior to hysterectomy between countries were counted and compared. Prevalence of maternal mortality, complications after hysterectomy and neonatal adverse events (stillbirth or neonatal mortality) were calculated.

A total of 1302 women with peripartum hysterectomy were included. In women without PAS who had major obstetric hemorrhage leading to hysterectomy, uterotonics administration was lowest in Slovakia (48/73, 66%) and highest in Denmark (25/27, 93%), intrauterine balloon use was lowest in Slovakia (1/72, 1%) and highest in Denmark (11/27, 41%), and interventional radiology varied between 0/27 in Denmark and Slovakia to 11/59 (79%) in Belgium. In women with PAS, uterotonics administration was lowest in Finland (5/16, 31%) and highest in the UK (84/103, 82%), intrauterine balloon use varied between 0/14 in Belgium and Slovakia to 29/103 (28%) in the UK. Interventional radiology was lowest in Denmark (0/16) and highest in Finland (9/15, 60%). Maternal mortality occurred in 14/1226 (1%), the most common complications were hematologic (95/1202, 8%) and respiratory (81/1101, 7%). Adverse neonatal events were observed in 79/1259 (6%) births.

Management of obstetric hemorrhage in women who eventually underwent peripartum hysterectomy varied greatly between these nine European countries. This potentially life‐saving procedure is associated with substantial adverse maternal and neonatal outcome.