The placenta is a structure that is formed early on during a pregnancy to help nourish and feed the developing baby. A placental abruption is a complication during pregnancy where the placenta starts to pull away from the uterus before delivery. If a mother develops a placental abruption, it can deprive the baby's brain of oxygen and cause the mother to hemorrhage if it is not diagnosed and treated right away.
Certain risk factors during pregnancy such as maternal hypertension or high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol consumption, abdominal trauma, a short umbilical cord, prolonged rupture of membranes, maternal age, a previous abruption, infections or cocaine use should put healthcare providers on alert that the pregnant woman might develop a placental abruption. Any woman with one or more of these risk factors who develops vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, an enlarging abdomen, contractions that do not stop or back pain should be evaluated for a placental abruption.
Treatment of a placental abruption will depend on the size of the abruption, the amount of blood loss and the status of the baby. If the fetus is less than 36 weeks gestation, and neither the mother nor the baby is in distress, they may be monitored until there is a change in either one of their conditions or fetal maturity occurs. If a large placental abruption is not diagnosed or treated right away, it could lead to a lack of oxygen to the baby, fetal distress, brain damage, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), seizures, mental retardation, cerebral palsy or even death or still born.
Here at the Beasley birth injury law firm, we have been awarded over $2 billion on behalf of our injured clients and have evaluated hundreds of potential placental abruption medical malpractice cases. Our experienced birth complication teams consist of doctors, labor and delivery nurses, and neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurses who have actually cared for and treated pregnant women and newborns who have suffered due to a placental abruption. If you or your baby developed complications due to a placental abruption, please feel free to contact one of our experienced lawyers, doctors or nurses at (215) 866-2424 for a strictly confidential and free consultation.