Placental Abruption Attorneys serving clients in Michigan, Ohio, Washington D.C., and nationwide
If your child was permanently injured at birth and you believe it was due to the misdiagnosis or medical mishandling of a placental abruption, call Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers. Our firm specializes in birth injury cases. Our compassionate yet highly skilled lawyers will get you the compensation your child deserves.
What is Placental Abruption?
The placenta is a sac-like formation within the uterus where a fetus develops during pregnancy. It provides food and oxygen to the baby from the mother. During a normal pregnancy, the placenta remains attached to the walls of the uterus until the baby is born. Once the baby is delivered, the placenta will naturally separate and will be expelled from the birth canal. Sometimes, however, the placenta separates prematurely from the inner wall of the uterus. This is known as placental abruption (or abruptio placentae). It can occur during pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation. However, it often occurs during labor when the trauma of contractions causes the placenta to tear.
Causes of Placental Abruption
There are a number of conditions and risk factors associated with placental abruption. They include:
- Maternal hypertension (preeclampsia or high blood pressure). This is the most common cause of placental abruption occurring in about 44% of cases.
- Trauma of contractions during labor
- Sudden decompression of the uterus from events such as the delivery of the first child in a multiples birth or premature rupture of membranes (mother’s water breaking too soon)
- Accidental puncture of the placenta from a needle (e.g. amniocentesis)
- Chorioamnionitis (an infection of the two membranes of the placenta -- the chorion and the amnion – and the amniotic fluid.)
- Abnormal uterine blood vessels
- Previous placental abruption
- Mother over the age of 35 or younger than 20
- Male baby
- Elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein in the second trimester
- Other less common causes include cocaine use, uterine fibroids, injury to the uterus (e.g. car accident), alcohol use, and cigarette smoking.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Placental Abruption
There are a few signs and symptoms of placental abruption:
- bleeding during the second half of pregnancy or excessive bleeding during labor
- intense abdominal pain
- uterine contractions during labor that last longer than normal
- uterus that becomes hard to the touch during labor
- fetal distress
In cases where the placental abruption causes fetal distress or non-reassuring fetal heart tones on the fetal monitor, the baby must be delivered by an emergency "crash" C-section. The baby should be delivered in less than 18 minutes in order to avoid permanent brain damage from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (birth asphyxia).
What to do if your child sustained brain damage from a placental abruption
If your child suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or delivery and you believe it was due to medical mismanagement of a placental abruption, you should contact a law firm with experience with this type of birth injury. Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers handles birth injury cases exclusively and we have helped many families with placental abruption cases. Our attorneys will review your child’s birth records and determine if there were misdiagnoses or other medical errors made in diagnosing or treating your placental abruption. And we will obtain compensation to help secure your child’s future. Please e-mail or call us toll-free at 888-419-BABY.
By Jesse Reiter