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Page 655 – Stanford Medicine X

The $1M cesarean and the power of patient storytelling

Kristen Terlizzi kkterlizzi@gmail.com


What if the mere act of patients sharing their stories had the ability to incite change?

In 2014, Kristen Terlizzi and her unborn son found themselves at the center of a catastrophic dilemma facing maternal care. The cesarean that birthed her first child in 2012 caused Kristen to develop a life threatening condition in her second pregnancy two years later called Placenta Accreta.

Kristen’s son did great at delivery, but she became every obstetrician’s worst nightmare and would spend the next two months in the hospital requiring attentive multidisciplinary care.

One of the most unique aspects of Kristen’s story is not in the story, it’s the fact that she’s here to tell it. The United States cesarean delivery rate has quadrupled since 1970, Accreta rates have skyrocketed, and the United States Maternal Mortality Rate has doubled over the past 25 years.

Kristen’s experience as a maternal near miss compelled her to share her story, so she began presenting it across multiple fields in health care.

Kristen will discuss the impact her patient storytelling has had to over 60 California birthing hospitals, blood banks, medical school lectures and hospital administration. The story of what Kristen has done with her story illustrates the power of patient storytelling and its ability to engage, inspire, and ultimately influence organizational culture.

We are in a revolution of patient engagement and the key is Patient Storytelling. 
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