The placenta grows in the mother’s uterus during pregnancy. The placenta sends oxygen and nutrients to the baby during the growth of the fetus. The placenta is attached to the uterine wall. The baby is attached to placenta through the umbilical cord. A placenta abruption is the separation of the placenta from the uterus before the fetus is ready to be born. It is one of the most dangerous scenarios to mother and the child, and poses a significant risk of birth injury if not diagnosed and treated quickly.
If a large part of the placenta separates, the following injuries can occur:
- The mother, baby, or both can die
- The mother may go into shock due to the blood loss
- The blood may not clot properly
- Kidney failure and failure of other organs is possible
Complications from placenta abruption include:
- The premature birth of your child.
- The newborn may have developmental problems if he/she is born to soon
- The child may be born stillborn
Placenta abruption is most common during the third trimester. It usually happens quickly though it can develop with time. Dcotors should look for the following symptoms and be ready to treat a placenta abruption:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Belly or back pain
- Repeat contractions
- The baby has a low amount of amniotic fluid
- The baby isn’t growing at the correct rate
Causes for increase risk of a placental abruption
- A previous placenta abruption
- High blood pressure
- Difficulties with the amniotic sac
- Age of the mother
- Carrying multiples
- A car accident or any trauma to the mother’s abdomen
- Previous c-sections
- Drug use
- Gestational diabetes
How is placenta abruption treated
Unfortunately, there’s no way to reattach the placenta. The treatments vary depending on how far along the pregnancy is and other factors
- If the pregnancy is less than 34 weeks old, the mother and child will likely be admitted to the hospital to be monitored. Mothers may, in some cases, be able to return home. Mothers may be given steroids to help with an early labor.
- If the pregnancy is more than 34 weeks old, the birth delivery doctors will need to consider whether the mother can still have a vaginal delivery – or if an immediate C-section is required.
If the placenta abruption is not handled properly, a newborn can suffer cerebral palsy, brain damage, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and seizures, in addition to developmental delays.
The best treatment is preventive medicine. Doctors who fail to look for signs of placenta abruption may be committing medical malpractice. If you, your child, or a relative or friend is suffering due to placenta abruption, you may have a claim against the treating doctors. To learn your rights, call Merkel & Cocke, P.A. at 662-799-1633 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Our medical malpractice lawyers represent mothers and children throughout Mississippi, including in Tupelo and the Gulf Coast Region, including Jackson, Clarksdale, and Oxford. We also fight for clients in Tennessee and Arkansas.