Placental Abruption Injuries 

Skilled Birth Injury Lawyers Assisting Mississippi Families Affected by Placental Abruption Injuries

We will hold negligent parties responsible for your baby’s birth injury

When you’re having a baby, you depend on your doctor to monitor your health and other conditions surrounding your pregnancy. Whether you’ve decided to give birth at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo or Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport, or any other of the many hospitals here in our state, it’s your doctor’s responsibility to remain vigilant of any warning signs that complications may occur.

Placental abruption (abruption placentae) is a serious complication of pregnancy, where the placenta, the sac that holds and nourishes the baby as it develops, detaches from the walls of the uterus before the baby is born. The placenta can either partially or fully detach. In severe cases, it causes excessive bleeding in the mother and deprives the infant of nutrients and oxygen. This can be fatal to the child. Placental abruption can be extremely serious, but occurs in about only one in every hundred pregnant women, and typically happens in the third trimester.

If a medical professional fails to recognize the signs of placental abruption, or fails to treat it properly, a child can suffer significant birth injuries. The legal team at Merkel & Cocke, P.A. are experienced in these types of cases and can work with your family in seeking compensation for your child’s injuries.

Placental abruption and standard of care

As you know, the placenta is a vital lifeline between a mother and the child growing inside her. A primary function of the placenta is to provide the baby with oxygen-rich blood. If the placenta suddenly separates from the uterus, the baby’s supply of oxygen may suddenly be cut off—and the baby can be put in danger.

When only part of the placenta detaches or tears from the uterus, it’s called a partial placental abruption. When there is a complete tear, it’s called a complete placental abruption. With a complete placental abruption, the baby is fully deprived of oxygen and must be delivered immediately. Even partial placental abruptions must be taken seriously, as they can turn severe quickly. If the baby is close to term, it is typically the standard of care to deliver the baby, even with a partial abruption.

If the abruption is mild and the pregnancy is less than 36 weeks, the general standard of care is to admit the mother to the hospital for close monitoring. If the baby becomes distressed, it will be delivered immediately. The medical team will also monitor the mother to ensure the abruption doesn’t get worse. If it does, many doctors will deliver the baby by emergency C-section.

If an obstetrician or other medical professional detects that a woman is suffering from placental abruption, they must take immediate steps in order to lessen the risks to the baby. When physicians and nurses fail to detect and treat symptoms of placental abruption, the child’s life and health are in danger, and medical malpractice may occur.

Placental abruption symptoms

There are several signs and symptoms of placental abruption that medical professionals should be aware of. They include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Back and abdominal pain and cramping
  • Rapid, continuous contractions in the uterus

If these symptoms are present, the doctor should run tests to determine if placental abruption is occurring and, if so, treat it accordingly.

Aftermath of placental abruption

When not noticed or addressed immediately, placental abruption can result in serious issues for the child, including premature birth, neurological damage, physiological damage, seizures, growth problems, or even stillbirth.

Children born after placental abruption may also suffer from birth injuries like cerebral palsy or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The lack of oxygen in the womb, coupled with premature birth, are major causes of these types of injuries.

Risk factors for placental abruption

Placental abruptions happen for a variety of reasons, but there are some risk factors that can increase the chances. According to the March of Dimes, a mother is more at risk if she:

  • Smokes cigarettes or uses street drugs
  • Is 35 or older
  • Has high blood pressure
  • Has a uterine infection
  • Has her water break before 37 weeks
  • Has had an abruption in a previous pregnancy
  • Has problems with the uterus or umbilical cord
  • Is pregnant with multiple babies
  • Has trauma to the abdomen from a car accident or abuse

Your obstetrician should always be monitoring your pregnancy for signs of complications. If signs of distress are missed or improperly treated, the health of your child may be in danger. It’s crucial you hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.

Caring representation for Mississippi families affected by birth injuries

If you’ve experienced placental abruption and your baby suffered injury as a result, talk to the birth injury attorneys at Merkel & Cocke, P.A. We investigate to find out if your doctor or other medical professionals were negligent, and seek compensation on your behalf. We provide services from our home offices in Jackson, Oxford, and Clarksdale, and work with clients throughout Mississippi, including Tupelo and across the Gulf Coast region. We also handle cases in Tennessee and Arkansas. Please call us today at 662-627-9641 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.