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What is a placental abruption?

As a soon-to-be mother, you expect that your medical care will be up to par and help you keep your baby safe in the womb. There are some things that can go wrong, but if your medical provider is working diligently, many issues can be avoided and your child can be kept safe. If a doctor doesn't notice this serious and potentially life-threatening condition before you or your child is harmed, your attorney may be able to help you seek compensation.

Sometimes, serious complications take place during pregnancy. One that has the potential to kill both a child and mother is a placental abruption. This complication takes place suddenly in most cases, so it needs immediate treatment.

There are some obvious symptoms of a placental abruption. For instance, vaginal bleeding, back pain and rapid contractions are all signs that the placenta has ruptured. The pain begins suddenly, too, so it's not the same as labor. When these symptoms arise, you should seek medical help immediately. Medical professionals who see women in this state should be considering a placental abruption as a cause.

If a doctor does not recognize the complication, the baby's life, as well as the mother's, can be at risk. The baby could be stillborn or be born prematurely. He or she could also suffer from a lack of oxygen or nutrients needed to grow correctly. Mothers could suffer from the failure of their organs, shock from blood loss or other serious problems. In some cases, a hysterectomy could be needed after the baby is delivered in order to control the mother's bleeding.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Placental abruption," accessed Nov. 02, 2015

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