Retained Products of Conception (RPOC) are remnants of the placenta and other tissue which can remain in the uterus postpartum. Doctors should carefully monitor for signs of RPOC, as this condition leaves the mother particularly vulnerable to developing sepsis. One of the most common, and dangerous, signs of RPOC is sustained vaginal bleeding. When this occurs, bacteria have an easier path and infection is more likely to occur.
When RPOC is suspected, there are a variety of tests which can be done to confirm the diagnosis, including:
- Color doppler
- Physical exam
Unfortunately, many physicians do not routinely utilize these tests, even on patients who are at an increased risk of RPOC. It is important that medical professionals develop and utilize a proper protocol for identifying and managing this condition. So long as each doctor and hospital play it by ear, determining whether or not proper treatment was provided will remain difficult.
When RPOC is diagnosed, there are multiple therapeutic options, including surgery. Though surgical intervention is the most effective method in terms of properly removing the retained tissue, it runs the risk of causing massive hemorrhage, which can result in the death of the patient. Surgery also influences the risk of the development of sepsis, a risk already elevated by the condition itself.
Along with treating RPOC, the patient should be evaluated for sepsis when this condition is diagnosed. Promptly treating sepsis is key to reducing the risk of organ damage, which can cause long-term disability or even death. Of particular concern post-partum is a high fever, as this indicates that an infection has developed.
If you or someone you love developed sepsis due to Retained Products of Conception, or due to any other delivery or postpartum condition, please consider speaking with an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer can evaluate your case and help you determine whether the medical establishment failed you.