Parents often prepare for the birth of a child by seeking prenatal care. This form of medical care generally involves multiple visits to an obstetrician, gynecologist or other medical specialists to discuss basic prenatal care and take tests to measure and monitor the health of the mother and baby.
These medical professionals are also expected to watch for complications that may arise during pregnancy. One example is a placental abruption.
What is a placental abruption? A placental abruption is a medical term for when the placenta becomes separated from the uterus before the infant is delivered. The placenta is an organ that develops during pregnancy to supply the growing infant with needed nutrients and oxygen. When a placenta becomes separated from the mother's uterus, the baby does not get the nutrients and oxygen it needs for development. This can result in premature birth, poor growth and stillbirth.
The mother can also suffer injury due to loss of blood. This can also lead to organ failure and the need for a hysterectomy.
Who is most likely to suffer from this type of birth injury? A placental abruption is most likely to occur during the last trimester of pregnancy. Symptoms can include sudden and rapid contractions, bleeding and pain in the abdomen and back.
Mothers who have a history of suffering from placental abruptions during previous pregnancies, suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure are at an increased risk. Additional risk factors include an older maternal age, generally over 40, and carrying multiple babies. A fall or other injury to the abdominal region can also increase the likelihood a mother would suffer from a placental abruption.
When is a placental abruption the sign of medical malpractice? Although placental abruption itself is generally not the result of medical malpractice, the failure to properly respond to the injury can rise to the level of malpractice. Medical professionals should take the symptoms noted above seriously and intervene to better ensure the mother and infant do not suffer serious complications due to the injury.