Did Medical Malpractice Cause My Placental Abruption?


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Pregnancy is usually a time of joy and expectation, but it’s important that it’s also a time that mothers-to-be pay attention to their health for themselves and their unborn babies. While most pregnancies result in a healthy mother and baby, there are some conditions that can threaten that outcome. One such condition is placental abruption. It’s a condition that requires immediate medical treatment to reduce the risk to mother and baby. Unfortunately, it sometimes goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed. When that happens, the consequences can be catastrophic. It can also be considered medical malpractice.

What is Placental Abruption?

Placental abruption is a medical emergency that happens during labor and delivery. Essentially, what happens is the placenta detaches (partially or completely) from the inner wall of the uterus, before the baby is born. When this happens, the baby is at great risk of fetal or neonatal injuries as the placenta controls many vital functions that affect the baby.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Placental Abruption?

The exact causes of placental abruption are unknown, but there are certain risk factors that can make a pregnant woman more likely to experience the complication. It’s important that physicians and other medical professionals identify and monitor the following risk factors in expectant mothers:

  • Mothers older than 35 or younger than 20 years of age
  • Women who have had previous placental abruptions
  • Expecting mothers with hypertension or preeclampsia
  • Mothers who suffer abdominal trauma during pregnancy
  • Women with sudden uterine decompression (this happens after the first birth of a multiple pregnancy, when the mother’s water is broken by the doctor, or when her water breaks prematurely)
  • Accidental puncture of the placenta
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Substance abuse and cigarette smoking during pregnancy

The most common risk factor is hypertension (high blood pressure) or preeclampsia, which is hypertension that occurs due to pregnancy. If preeclampsia isn’t diagnosed, monitored, and treated effectively and timely, both mother and baby are more at risk of suffering birth injuries.

What Are Common Injuries that Result from Placental Abruption? 

The damage that placental abruption causes can vary widely depending on the following:

  • the location of the separation
  • the size of the separation
  • how much of the placenta remains connected to the baby
  • how much time passes between when the abruption happens and when the baby is delivered

Placental abruption is considered a medical emergency and it must be treated quickly. If it isn’t, it could result in significant blood loss for both mother and baby, and the baby may sustain long-term brain injuries and develop cerebral palsy.

How Is Placental Abruption Diagnosed and Treated?

Diagnosing placental abruption is generally based on a doctor’s observation. This means that it’s vital that doctors communicate effectively with pregnant women, carefully assess their risk factors, and monitor the fetal heart beat constantly.

Treatment of placental abruption may include blood transfusions and the administration of intravenous fluids. It may also be required that an emergency C-section is performed if the baby is in distress or the bleeding is excessive.

When is Placental Abruption Considered Medical Malpractice?

When placental abruption occurs and any of the following happen (or have happened), it may be considered medical malpractice on the part of the doctor or other medical professionals:

  • Failure to inform the mother of risks and other options for placental abruption
  • Failure to test for and evaluate risk factors, signs, symptoms, and causes of placental abruption in the expectant mother
  • Failure to perform and emergency C-section in a timely manner
  • Failure to treat placental abruption with intravenous fluids and blood transfusions properly and timely

If you had a placental abruption due to any of the above reasons, and you or your child suffered injuries because of it, you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s important that you seek legal representation right away for your case.

Legal Representation for Your Placental Abruption Lawsuit

When a baby or mother is injured due to a placental abruption, those injuries can last a lifetime. When the injury was avoidable, parents of the child may have a medical malpractice case against the medical professional who is responsible. If you believe this describes your family, the attorneys at Ross Feller Casey can help.

At Ross Feller Casey, we have a team of Ivy League educated and trained physicians right on our staff who consult on birth injury cases. They have the knowledge and training to carefully review medical records and determine if there was negligence involved. We also have an unrivaled history of winning multi-million-dollar financial recoveries in all types of birth injury cases, including placental abruption lawsuits.

Let Ross Feller Casey help with your birth injury lawsuit. Contact our leading placental abruption lawyers today to schedule your free case review.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.