The placenta is an organ that develops inside a woman’s uterus during pregnancy. Once a baby is conceived, the placenta forms to supply oxygen and nutrients to the baby, as well as remove waste products from the baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the uterine wall, and the baby’s umbilical cord arises from it.
In some cases, however, the placenta can separate from the uterine wall, causing the baby to stop receiving an adequate supply of oxygen, and causing the mother to bleed vaginally, up to and including the loss of a life-threatening amount of blood. Placental abruption can occur if the mother suffers forceful blunt trauma injury, such as from a serious fall or during a car accident, but the placenta can also detach from the uterine wall, completely or partially, due to complications of the pregnancy itself – including a sudden loss of amniotic fluid, very high blood pressure (pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia) or an infection within the uterus (chorioamnionitis).
Symptoms of placental abruption include vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain, sometimes including back pain, which can start suddenly and be constant or mimic contractions, but typically with little or no time between each contraction. If there are any signs of a placental abruption an immediate delivery, usually by caesarian (c-section), may be required to stop the dangerous bleeding in the mother and restore the vital supply of oxygen to the fetus. Failure to promptly deliver the baby can result in permanent brain injury due to loss of oxygen (hypoxia).
Even partial separation of the placenta from the uterine wall can become hazardous in a matter of minutes. It is important that the medical staff that has put you in their care are capable of identifying causes and risk factors of placental abruption and promptly recognizing and treating placental abruption if it occurs. Management of suspected placental abruption should include prompt assessment of both the mother and baby and includes careful monitoring of the mother’s blood pressure and bloodwork and constant monitoring for any irregularities in the fetal heart rate.
If your child suffered a brain injury at birth, contact The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-403-7259). The attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced, caring professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. Call us today to receive a free, confidential consultation about your possible case.
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