Placental abruption poses a significant risk to the health of both mother and unborn child. This dangerous condition occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine lining. The placenta is responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the fetus, and placental detachment interferes with the vital role this organ plays.
Early diagnosis of placental abruption is key, as most cases of placental separation are treatable, particularly if only a partial separation has occurred. In advanced cases or cases of a full separation, an emergency Caesarian section usually results in good outcomes for both mother and child.
Unfortunately, missed diagnoses or delayed diagnoses of placental detachment are far too common. Mothers should be aware of the symptoms of abruption, which include:
- Rapid contractions
- Tenderness of the uterus
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal bleeding
One of the clearest signals that placental abruption may have occurred is changes in the baby’s heartbeat. Unfortunately, these changes are not easily detectable by the expectant mother without using a fetal heartbeat monitor, which can be difficult to position properly to get a solid reading.
Medical professionals have access to all the necessary equipment to make a quick and proper diagnosis. In addition to sensitive and accurate fetal heart-rate monitors, ultrasounds are exceptionally accurate at diagnosing placental abruption. Unfortunately many mothers are not given an ultrasound until the detachment has existed for long enough to result in adverse outcomes for mother or child.
If you or someone you love has suffered unnecessarily due to a delayed diagnosis of placental detachment, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer will know the right experts to review your case to determine whether or not the diagnosis should have been made more quickly, and whether a swift diagnosis might have resulted in a better outcome for mother or child.