Placental abruption: Life-threatening condition

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

A pregnant woman is likely to eagerly await the birth of her baby. Most expectant mothers don’t think that they will have to deal with a complication that could threaten them or their new baby. For some, a placental abruption turns what should be a joyous time into a very frightening one. 

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta becomes detached from the uterine wall. It’s possible that only part of the placenta will detach, but a full detachment is also possible. 

What happens when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall?

A placenta that’s partially detached will still supply the baby with some nutrients, but there’s usually a significant decrease or block in the amount of oxygen the baby receives. This can be life-threatening for the baby. A placenta that’s fully detached can’t supply any nutrition or oxygen to the baby, which is fatal.

The mother can suffer from shock due to blood loss due to placental abruption. In many cases, a woman will experience vaginal bleeding and contractions when the placenta detaches. The amount of bleeding doesn’t necessarily coincide with the severity of the abruption because blood may pool in the uterus. 

Medical teams should be vigilant in watching for signs of placental abruption in pregnant women, especially those who are in the last trimester of the pregnancy. Emergency medical care is often necessary for these women. Stillbirth, premature birth and other birth complications are all possible. Some women will need a hysterectomy if the bleeding can’t be controlled. 

An undiagnosed placental abruption can be catastrophic to the mother and the baby. When the medical team misses the signs of abruption and either the mother or baby suffers harm, a claim for compensation might be in order. Discussing the case with someone who’s familiar with these cases is beneficial.