The placenta is a round organ inside the uterus that provides a growing fetus with oxygen and food during pregnancy. During a healthy pregnancy, the placenta will remain attached to the uterine wall until the baby is born. But sometimes, it can separate before childbirth. This is a very dangerous condition called placental abruption, and it can cause a mother to hemorrhage severely or give birth prematurely.
Occasionally, placental abruption can be fatal to the baby, the mother, or both. Placental abruption most frequently occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy.
At the present moment, the exact cause of placental abruption is not known by the medical community. However, physicians have noticed a correlation between the condition and high blood pressure, which is considered the primary risk factor. Other less-common risk factors include:
- The use of nicotine or drugs during pregnancy.
- A history of placental abruption.
- Uterine fibroids.
- Premature damage to membranes.
- Uterine trauma.
It has also been suggested that there is a link between placental abruption and cocaine use, but that has not been proven. As mentioned above, when the placenta is abrupted, the infant is starved of oxygen and nutrients, which can lead to stroke, cerebral palsy, permanent brain damage, and in the most extreme cases, death.
- Lack of activity of the fetus.
- Abdominal pain.
- Uterine tenderness.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to reattach the placenta to the uterine wall once it has become detached. Placental abruption is a very serious medical condition, and it must be treated promptly by a doctor. If the life of the baby is in danger, the doctor may be forced to perform an emergency Caesarean section. However, if the baby seems healthy, the mother may be allowed to continue with the pregnancy as long as there are no signs of trauma.
Physicians are trained to recognize the symptoms of placental abruption, but some medical professionals choose to ignore the signs. If the condition is treated swiftly and effectively, more than likely, the mother and child will remain healthy. But if abruption is overlooked or ignored, the physician is placing the life of two individuals at risk.
If your physician failed to notice the signs of placental abruption and administer medical care, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The doctors, nurses, and other medical providers involved in your care have an obligation to monitor mother and child for abnormalities and issue the proper treatment. The hospital also has a responsibility to hire trained medical professionals. If any parties did not fulfill their obligations to you and your child, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
Please reach out to the New York birth injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, if you believe a medical professional’s oversight resulted in injury to you or your child. We have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases and we will never stop working for you. Schedule a free consultation by calling (212) 986-7353 today.
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