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Placental Abruption

Chicago medical malpractice attorney for placental abruption injuries

Birth Injuries Caused By Placenta Issues - Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney

During pregnancy, the placenta is attached to the wall of the uterus, and it delivers oxygen and nutrients to the baby through the umbilical cord. In some cases, the placenta becomes partially or fully detached from the uterus. This condition is known as placental abruption, and it can be very dangerous for both the child and the mother.

Risk Factors for Placental Abruption

The reasons why a placenta may detach from the uterus are not always known, but placental abruption can occur if the mother suffers physical trauma, such as injuries in a car accident or a serious fall. Some risk factors associated with this condition include:

  • Premature rupture of membranes - If the mother's water breaks before the pregnancy has reached full term, this can cause the placenta to detach.
  • Infections - Chorioamnionitis, or an infection that affects the amniotic fluid and the placenta, can lead to a detached placenta.
  • Maternal conditions - The risk of placental abruption increases if the mother experiences high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) or gestational diabetes. Women are also at risk if they are over the age of 35, have an abnormal uterus, or have previously experienced placental abruption.
  • Exposure to dangerous substances - Use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of a detached placenta.
  • Multiples pregnancy - If a mother is pregnant with twins, triplets, or more children, this can increase the risk of placental abruption due to less room in the uterus or, in some cases, a placenta being shared by multiple fetuses.

Signs and Symptoms

The following symptoms may indicate that placental abruption has occurred:

  • Vaginal bleeding may or may not occur, depending on where the placenta is attached to the uterine wall.
  • The mother may experience severe abdominal or back pain or rapid or continuous contractions.
  • The mother may observe decreased movement of the baby, or the child's heart rate may decrease.

Placental Abruption Injuries

A detached placenta can be dangerous for both the mother and the child. If the placenta fully detaches from the uterus, the child will no longer be receiving oxygen or nutrients, and this can result in fetal death. If hemorrhaging of blood occurs in the uterus, this can lead to maternal death.

If the placenta partially detaches from the uterine wall, this will result in less oxygen and nutrients flowing to the baby, which will affect the child's growth and development in the womb. In some cases, placental abruption will lead to premature birth, or an immediate cesarean section may be necessary. If the pregnancy reaches full term, the child may have a very low birth weight, which can result in complications during delivery.

One of the most serious dangers presented by placental abruption is a restriction of oxygen to the child. This can result in brain injuries, including fetal stroke, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), neonatal encephalopathy, microcephaly, cystic encephalomalacia, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), or Cerebral Palsy.

Receiving the Proper Medical Care

Due to the serious injuries that may be experienced by both a mother and child, doctors should closely monitor a pregnant mother for signs of placental abruption, especially if there are any risk factors involved in the pregnancy. If the placenta partially or fully detaches from the uterus, immediate steps should be taken to minimize the risk of harm. Failure to recognize placental abruption or provide the correct treatment in time may be considered medical negligence.

Injuries that occurred because of placental abruption can have life-long effects for a mother and child. If you have experienced this type of injury, the Birth Injury Law Alliance can help you understand your options for receiving the treatment you need, and we will work with you to determine the best ways to receive financial help for your medical care and ongoing needs. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, contact us at 312-945-1300.

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