Every day, thousands of babies are born in the U.S. For many mothers, the delivery process is painful and exhausting, but the end result – a healthy baby – makes it all worth it.
But for others, the process is a challenge, and some face life-threatening complications during pregnancy and during labor. According to the March of Dimes, about one out of every 100 pregnant people will suffer a placental abruption. The condition creates a real risk of preterm birth, stunted growth, and death for the baby and even the mother. Without proper care, the condition is likely to worsen.
Causes and symptoms of placental abruption
Per the Mayo Clinic, placental abruption happens when the placenta separates from the inner uterus wall before delivery. When this happens, it decreases the baby’s oxygen supply and can lead to heavy bleeding in the mother. It is a dangerous condition for pregnant women and the fetus, and it happens suddenly. The last trimester is when placental abruption occurs. Symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Uterine tenderness or rigidity
- Abdominal pain
- Uterine contractions
Vaginal bleeding will vary, with some women experiencing it and others not. Most notably, back and abdominal pain will be the first signs something is wrong. Any of these signs require an immediate visit to the doctor. Possible causes of the condition include injury or trauma to the abdomen or loss of amniotic fluid. The condition can happen without cause, and everyone should be alert to changes.
Potential risk factors for placental abruption
Placental abruption has various risk factors and complications that can put everyone on high alert. You can discuss your risk factors with your medical team and find ways to reduce them. While some you can avoid, others are out of your control. Some potential risk factors include:
- Advanced age pregnancy
- Previous placental abruption without abdominal trauma
- Falls or blows to the abdomen
- Cocaine usage
- Rupture of the membrane
You can decrease your risk factors but cannot prevent placental abruption. Work with your medical provider to identify specific risk factors and ways to decrease them. You can reduce risk by avoiding illicit drugs and wearing your seatbelt. Individual circumstances will determine your best course of action,
Complications from placental abruption
Complications can affect the mother and the fetus resulting in life-threatening problems. When placental abruption occurs, doctors must take swift action to avoid complications and further damage. When they do not, everyone’s life is in danger. The pregnant woman can suffer from the following:
- Blood clotting
- Shock from blood loss
- Kidney failure
- Organ failure
- Need for blood transfusion
- Need for a hysterectomy
This condition is especially severe because it can also impact the fetus and have dire consequences. The fetus can experience complications like:
- Lack of oxygen
- Premature birth
- Restricted growth
Can you file a medical malpractice lawsuit for placental abruption?
While placental abruption is a potential risk of pregnancy, there are instances where the actions of medical professionals can lead to the condition, resulting in medical malpractice. If the placental abruption is due to any of these situations, you may have a medical malpractice case:
- Failing to perform an emergency c-section promptly or when necessary
- Failing to inform the pregnant woman of risk factors and treatment options
- Failing to test or evaluate the risk of placental abruption
- Failing to treat placental abruption promptly
When you are in pain and suffering from the symptoms we detailed above, you must see your doctor. They should ask about your risk factors, current symptoms, and pregnancy history. They will also examine the fetal heartbeat and conduct an ultrasound. Accurate diagnoses of the condition can be the difference between life and death for a mother and a child.
Because there is no way to “cure” or surgically fix an abruption, your next steps depend on your pregnancy and the fetus’s health. You can have a vaginal delivery or emergency c-section if you are in danger. A blood transfusion during delivery is also a possibility.
Legal representation in Kennewick and Richland for placental abruption cases
Injuries from placental abruption can last a lifetime, leading to other complications, and subsequent pregnancies can be higher risk. The woman can be wary of becoming pregnant in the future because of the traumatic event, and the child can have slower development. When the injury was avoidable and the cause of a medical error, parents have legal options. You can file a birth injury claim against the doctor or professional that failed to provide adequate care and led to your injuries. The hospital and medical facility can also be liable for these injuries.
Washington allows three years from the injury date to file a claim. However, legislation is constantly changing, and these timelines could change. You really want to get started as soon as you can.
Birth injury claims are very complex. In most personal injury cases, we wait for a person to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), but that will be impossible in these cases. When the child is born with a lifelong disorder, they will not reach MMI because their growth and development are ever-changing. These cases are contentious, and your best step is to take action immediately after an injury. A Kennewick birth injury lawyer from Telaré Law will start an investigation immediately and determine the best legal approach contingent on deadlines.
Your baby’s survival rate can change when you suffer a placental abruption, but with early detection, close monitoring, and treatment, you have higher survival rates. The key is detection; when medical professionals do not correctly identify the condition, they are liable for subsequent injuries. Telaré Law will fight back and make sure they compensate you for your losses and do not make the same mistake again. Visit our Richland or Kennewick locations today. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.