Pregnancy is a delicate balance of the health of the mother and the new life she is carrying inside of her. For most women it is an exciting and miraculous experience as they spend nine months nurturing the tiny child inside of them. Unfortunately there are complications during pregnancy that can change this happy time to one of dread and fear. One complication is placental abruption, when the placenta becomes separated from the wall of the uterus. It can potentially harm both the mother and the child, however, knowing the causes, signs and treatments can help expectant mothers act quickly to reduce the chance of harm to them and their baby.
What Causes Placental Abruption?
When the placenta pulls away from the uterus wall before delivery of the baby, it is called an placental abruption, often just referred to as an abruption. The danger can be very real for both the mother and child. For the mother, it can cause her body to begin hemorrhaging and put her at risk for excessive blood loss. For the baby, it is a dangerous situation and can cause fetal distress and lack of oxygen, which can lead to brain damage and even death.
The cause of the abruption is often unknown. In some cases, it may be caused by a direct blow to the abdomen, such as a car accident or fall. However, many times it can occur with no warning. Instances that require immediate medical attention include:
- Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- Severe back pain
- Abdomen is struck from a fall or other accident
- Mother is involved in car accident, even if it is minor
It is important to note that a placental abruption can happen with little or no vaginal bleeding. The amount of blood does not necessarily correlate with the extent of the abruption. An abruption can happen suddenly or slowly over time.
Risks For Mother And Baby When An Abruption Develops
When an abruption occurs, there is an acute risk for both mother and child. For the mother, the loss of blood can lead to shock and even death if she does not have medical attention. For the unborn child, it is a very dangerous situation. Once the placenta is separated from the uterus, the fetus may be deprived of both oxygen and nutrients. Prolonged deprivation may lead to severe oxygen deprivation which can cause:
Treatments For a Placental Abruption
Once an abruption has happened, the placenta cannot be reattached to the uterus. Most abruptions are medical emergencies and the mother is admitted to a hospital for care. The mother and baby will be examined to diagnosis the severity of the abruption. If the fetus is in distress, there may be no other option than to perform an emergency C-section and deliver the child prematurely. However, if the baby’s heart rate is normal and the abruption is mild, the mother may be monitored closely and allowed to continue the pregnancy as long as the child does not seem in distress or in danger.
Although an abruption is a very serious condition, if medically treated quickly, many mothers and their unborn children can survive the crisis and even continue to a healthy birth. It is important to be aware of the signs and seek medical attention if there is any sign that an abruption has occurred.Birth Injury Lawyers Who Appreciate The Dangers Of Placental Abruption Cases
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has litigated birth injury cases where a child or mother was injured due to an undetected or poorly addressed abruption during labor and delivery. Our attorneys know the life-long impact these cases can have on the individuals involved and the entire family unit. Our experience with these cases has enabled us to develop relationships with experts in the fields of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Neonatal Pathology who can evaluate your situation in a clear and unbiased manner.
In situations where errors were made, our team will litigate your case to ensure the needs of your child and family are met in the future. While we can not guarantee a specific result in every circumstance, we are deeply committed to your families long-term needs from the time we are retained in a matter involving an injury to a developing baby or his/her mother. Call us anytime to discuss your circumstance without cost or obligation on your end.
Learn more about the medicine involved when a placental abruption presents itself during labor and delivery: