Placental Abruption in St. Louis
Lawyers Serving Clients in Missouri and Illinois
The placenta is an organ that plays an important role in the development
of a baby. It is the link between mother and baby, and serves to provide
nutrients and oxygen to the baby. Linked to the baby through the umbilical
cord, the placenta also serves to remove waste from the baby to the mother's
blood. This waste is removed via the mother's kidney. Normally weighing
about 1 pound, the placenta protects the fetus from infections, and also
provides hormones that are involved in triggering labor and delivery.
After the baby is born, the placenta is delivered as afterbirth.
Placental abruption occurs when the placenta partially detaches from the
walls of the uterus. When this happens, the mother can suffer heavy bleeding,
and it will also cause the baby to be deprived of life-sustaining oxygen
and nutrients. Placenta abruption will cause death of the baby, if not
the mother, if left untreated. Occurring usually around the third trimester,
placental abruption affects 9 out of every 1,000 pregnancies. Placental
abruption can also occur any time after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Symptoms of Placenta Abruption
Placental abruption can occur at any time, normally around the middle of
the second trimester. Some of the symptoms of placental abruption are:
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Contractions occurring rapidly, often one after another
- Symptoms of shock: lightheadedness, confusion, feeling week or nauseous,
fast shallow breathing
If you are pregnant and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek
emergency care immediately. The amount of bleeding you may be experiencing
is not an effective indicator of the seriousness of the placental abruption.
Sometimes the blood is trapped and there may not be much apparent bleeding.
Risk Factors of Placental Abruption:
- Previous pregnancies: the more pregnancies you have had, the higher the
risk for placental abruption.
- Previous incidence of placental abruption: If a previous pregnancy you
had experienced placental abruption, you have 15% higher risk of experiencing it again.
- High blood pressure: both chronic high blood pressure and pregnancy-related
high blood pressure puts you at risk for placental abruption.
- Disorders of the blood: if you have a blood disorders that impairs your
blood's ability to clot, you are at higher risk of placental abruption.
- Multiple pregnancy: if you are carrying twins or other multiples, you are
at greater risk of placental abruption.
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall: if you have a scar from a previous surgery,
you may be at risk for placental abruption.
- An injury or trauma suffered to the uterus, for example, an automobile accident.
- Over 40 years of age: placental abruption occurs more often with mothers
of this age and older.
- Drug use and/or abuse: smoking, alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine use
during pregnancy increases the risk of placental abruption.
How Is Placental Abruption Diagnosed & Treated?
An ultrasound is normally used to diagnose placental abruption. A blood
test may also be conducted to determine if you may be anemic from blood
loss. If placental abruption is diagnosed, several factors will determine
your course of treatment:
- The severity of the abruption
- How the abruption is affecting the baby
- How close is your due date
There is unfortunately no way to stop a placenta from detaching, and no
treatment exists to reattach a detached placenta. It is common however
for a mild abruption to heal in time. In this situation, you may be able
to go home. If the abruption is more severe, hospitalization may be necessary
to keep a close watch over you and the baby. Depending on the severity,
the baby may be delivered by C-section.
Take Action With Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Our firm has over 50 years of combined experience fighting for the rights
of those that have been injured in St. Louis. We believe that when you
go to a medical professional for treatment, including a pregnancy, you
are entitled to the highest of care and consideration during your case.
When this standard of care is broken, you have the right to hold the person
that has harmed you accountable for their actions!
Working with Millikan Wright, LLC means that you can focus on your recovery
while we take an active stance to get you what you deserve. Don’t
wait- begin today!