Nothing that your doctor or midwife does causes a placental abruption, and it’s not likely that a medical provider can prevent your placenta from separating from the uterus. However, doctors are responsible for recognizing the signs of placental abruption, for diagnosing the condition, and for taking the necessary steps to reduce the serious risks for you and your child.
The Dangers of Placental Abruption
During pregnancy, your baby receives food and oxygen from you through an organ that develops in your uterus. This organ is known as the placenta. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus and to the baby through the umbilical cord. If the placenta separates from the uterine wall, it can cause you to suffer heavy bleeding and it can deprive your baby of necessary food and oxygen.
The separation of the placenta from the uterine wall can result in your child’s premature birth, developmental issues, growth issues, cerebral palsy, or death. These significant complications can be avoided if you receive prompt medical attention and advice. However, before your condition can be diagnosed, your medical provider must recognize the symptoms of placental abruption.
Symptoms of Placental Abruption
Any of the following signs could indicate a potential placental abruption:
- Abdominal pain (which may be severe)
- Back pain (which may be severe)
- Uterine tenderness
- Uterine contractions
You should get immediate medical attention for any of these symptoms. Your medical provider needs to evaluate you, accurately diagnose your condition, and treat you and your child, so the complications of placental abruption can be minimized.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Placental Abruption
After reviewing your symptoms, your doctor should consider whether you are suffering from placental abruption. A definitive diagnosis can be made after a physical examination and ultrasound. Currently, there is no way to reattach the placenta to the uterus. This makes placental abruption a medical emergency that requires close monitoring. You should expect to be hooked up to a machine that allows for electronic fetal monitoring. This will determine whether your baby is getting enough of oxygen or whether your baby is in distress.
If your baby is getting enough oxygen and is not in distress, bed rest and close monitoring may be recommended. However, if your baby is at risk, the only treatment available may be delivery. The risks involved with an early delivery depend on the how far along you are in your pregnancy. Infants that are approaching 40 weeks gestational age may face fewer risks from an early delivery than younger infants.
Has Your Child Suffered a Birth Injury?
There are many reasons a mother might suffer a placental abruption, including:
- You have been involved in a traumatic event such as a car crash.
- You are older than 35.
- You are pregnant with multiple babies.
- You smoke or use drugs.
- You have high blood pressure or other pregnancy complications.
Not every mother who suffers a placental abruption gives birth to a child with a birth injury. It is the doctor’s responsibility to evaluate your symptoms, to diagnose your condition, and to do whatever possible to minimize the risks for you and your child. However, if your doctor failed to recognize the symptoms and your child was hurt as a result, your child may have suffered a birth injury.
Our experienced birth injury legal team, including our staff nurse, can investigate your situation. Our attorneys can advise you about whether or not you have a birth injury case that is worth pursuing. To learn more about your child’s rights and about whether you could have a case, please read our free report, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky.
Has Your Family Been Impacted By A Birth Injury?
If your family has been impacted by a birth injury you need to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.