Placental Abruption Poses Risk to Mother and Child

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Though birthing classes are not mandatory, many parents choose to attend them, hoping to be as prepared as possible for the event. Learning breathing exercises and other skills that might help minimize pain (as much as it can be minimized) can provide expectant mothers and fathers with a greater sense of control.

Though preparing for the birthing process itself is important, recognizing potential late-stage complications is also important for soon-to-be parents. A birthing class can educate on signs of labor, including differentiating between progressive contractions and Braxton-Hicks contractions. It can also educate parents on signs that something is going wrong.

One complication parents should be aware of is placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta spontaneously detaches from the uterine wall. This condition can be dangerous for both mother and child. The child can be deprived of nutrients, as the placenta is the method by which the bloodstream of mother and baby are connected. And the mother can suffer significant and even fatal bleeding.

Signs of placental abruption include:

  • Spontaneous, often significant, vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Uterine sensitivity
  • Early labor

If these symptoms occur, expectant mothers should be encouraged to go to the emergency room or obstetric triage. An ultrasound can determine whether or not placental abruption has occurred. If it has, an emergency Caesarian section may be indicated, dependent on how far along the mother is, and the degree of abruption.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment are key to a good prognosis when a placental abruption has occurred. Unfortunately, many medical providers take too long in performing necessary tests. In those cases, the infant may die or suffer long-term disability, including a high incidence of cerebral palsy.

If you or your child suffered due to failure to promptly diagnose placental abruption, the grief and pain can be nearly overwhelming. Doctors and other medical providers must be held accountable for suffering caused due to negligence. Please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case.