Placental Abruption

Expecting a child is an exciting time for new parents. We want nothing more than to have a healthy and non-problematic pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. For expectant mothers, placental abruption can be a devastating condition they experience relatively early-on. At around 25-weeks of gestation, medical professionals are able to detect a placental abruption. This condition signifies a separation of the placenta from the uterus. If quick actions are not taken, it can have a life-threatening impact on both the mother and the unborn child.

Women who experience placental abruption need to be strictly monitored by their doctors. Although the risk of placental abruption cannot be completely eliminated, the chances of complications can be drastically reduced. Staying away from high-risk activities and being monitored by your doctor are key ways to avoid complications. Unfortunately, many women are not adequately monitored or cared for throughout their pregnancy. As a result, the risks of severe complications are drastically increased.

If you or your baby suffered serious complications due to a placental abruption, and you believe medical negligence played a role in the worsening or progression of your condition, it is crucial that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Our team of personal injury lawyers at The Malpractice Group strives to help women and children affected by these devastating injuries get the justice and compensation they need and deserve. Our team fights to ensure the injured victim or victims collect the maximum amount of compensation for pain and suffering and medical expenses related to their condition. Contact The Malpractice Group today to discuss your experience and find out what legal options are available for you.

What Causes Placental Abruption?

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta pulls away from the uterus wall before delivering the baby. In many cases, people refer to this condition as an abruption. This situation can be life-threatening for both a child and a mother. The mother can experience hemorrhaging that puts her at risk of suffering excessive and life-threatening blood loss. The baby can suffer fetal distress and a lack of oxygen, which can result in brain damage or death.

Unfortunately, there are several causes of these horrific injuries. In many cases, these injuries are the result of trauma to the abdomen. Car accidents, falls, and other sudden events can result in placental abruption. In many cases, these incidents occur with no warning. Some conditions that require immediate medical attention include instances of:

  • Severe back pain
  • Striking to the abdomen from an accident or fall
  • Being involved in a motor vehicle accident
  • Pain and tenderness in the abdomen
  • Vaginal bleeding during the pregnancy

It is important to understand that these injuries can occur with little or no vaginal bleeding. The amount of blood loss does not have an impact on the extent of the injury. Placental abruptions can happen slowly or suddenly. If you suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence, it is crucial to reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected from the start.  Call The Malpractice Group today to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney about your injuries and find out if you have the right to file a claim.

Risk Factors that May Contribute to a Placenta Abruption

Although the cause of placental abruption is generally unknown, there are some possible conditions that may increase the chances of them occurring. Some factors that can increase the possibility of placental abruption include:

  • Mothers with high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • Using cocaine during pregnancy
  • Experiencing the early rupture of membranes which can lead to amniotic fluid loss
  • Infections inside the uterus while pregnant
  • Falls or other blows to the abdomen
  • Experiencing hypertension-related health problems
  • Experiencing a placental abruption in a previous pregnancy that was not trauma related
  • Being over the age of 40

Although you cannot do anything to prevent a placental abruption from happening, it is possible to decrease the risk factors. It is crucial to refrain from using illegal drugs and smoking during pregnancy. Adequate monitoring of blood pressure is crucial to ensuring you do not experience any preeclampsia or hypertension at any point during your pregnancy. Finally, always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. 

Should you experience any trauma to the abdominal area, like from a motor vehicle accident, fall, or another type of injury, it is crucial to seek immediate medical assistance. If you have experienced a placental abruption during a previous pregnancy, it is imperative that you speak to your health care provider before trying to conceive. There may be things you can do to reduce the risks of you experiencing another placental abruption or some other type of complication during your pregnancy and delivery.

Early detection is the key to preventing severe complications from a placental abruption. It is imperative that expecting mothers to find healthcare providers they can trust to care for them and their unborn child.

Risks for a Mother and Baby after a Placental Abruption

Mothers and children risk experiencing life-threatening injuries due to placental abruption. For the mother, these risks include suffering excessive blood loss, which can lead to shock or death if medical attention is not provided immediately. Additionally, mothers are at risk of experiencing:

  • Contraction problems during delivery
  • Shock to the organs, such as the liver, pituitary glands, and kidneys
  • Diffuse cortical necrosis in the kidneys
  • Couvelaire uterus
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • The need for an emergency hysterectomy 

Placental abruption during labor can drastically increase the severity of complications and can lead to excessive bleeding for mothers. It can also be a perilous situation for babies. When a pregnant woman suffers from a placental abruption, the baby can be affected by suffering from oxygen deprivation and deprivation of nutrients. Prolonged deprivation of oxygen can lead to severe complications, including:

  • Low birth weight
  • Preterm delivery
  • Developmental problems
  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Restricted growth 
  • Stroke
  • Death

Babies who experience oxygen deprivation may go on to develop asphyxia. Should you or your child suffer devastating injuries due to medical negligence, it is imperative that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney at their earliest convenience to explore legal options available for you.

Treatment Options for a Placental Abruption

Although it is not possible to reattach the placenta once it separates from the uterine wall, there are some treatment options available. The type of treatment provided generally depends on how far along the mother is at the time she experiences the problem. 

If the baby is not close to full term, and the abruption seems mild, your baby may have a normal heart rate as well. It is too early for the baby to be born at this point, so the expecting mother may be hospitalized to ensure close monitoring. If there is no bleeding or the bleeding has stopped, and your baby stabilizes, you may be able to go home to rest instead of remaining in the hospital. During this time, mothers are typically provided medication to help the baby’s lungs mature and to protect their developing brain in case an early delivery is required.

If the baby is close to full-term at the time of the abruption, different things can occur. If the baby is more than 34 weeks in gestation, and the abruption seems mild, a vaginal delivery that is closely monitored may be possible. If the abruption worsens or could jeopardize the unborn child or the mother, a delivery via emergency C-section is necessary.

If at any point during the pregnancy, a moderate to severe placental abruption occurs, the baby will need to be delivered immediately. A C-section is typically performed for these difficult pregnancies, as it is imperative to stop the blood loss as quickly as possible. On rare occasions, doctors will need to perform a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding.

Unfortunately, heavy bleeding is a possibility with placental abruption. If the bleeding is severe, a blood transfusion may be required. 

The Malpractice Group Can Help You

If you or your baby suffered injuries and other damages as a result of placental abruption, it is crucial that you reach out to an aggressive and experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. This condition may require extensive medical treatment and can result in long-term health problems for new mothers. For this reason, it is crucial to act quickly to ensure your legal rights are protected. You may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the financial burdens you face.

Our attorneys at The Malpractice Group have extensive experience advocating on behalf of injured patients after being harmed by the negligent, reckless, or careless actions of a medical professional. Our dedicated, aggressive, yet compassionate medical malpractice attorneys understand the challenges victims face, which is why we strive to ensure they are in the best mental, physical, and financial position imaginable to move forward and recover. Contact our injury accident attorneys at (312) 561-4324 to see how we can help you. Schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation at your earliest convenience to explore legal options available for you to get the justice you deserve.