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Can a placental abruption or separated placenta result in harm to the baby?

Yes. A placental abruption (or simply referred to as an “abruption”) is a complication that develops when the placenta pulls away from the wall of the uterus before the delivery of the baby.   When the placenta separates itself from the uterus, hemorrhaging may result in the mother and the loss of vital oxygen and nutrients to the child.

Brain injury or death of fetus

If the supply of nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s placenta to the baby becomes diminished or disrupted in its entirety— the child can suffer a permanent brain injury or death.

The dire consequences placental abruptions pose to the developing baby require the mother’s physicians to be aware of the symptoms and ready to take interventional actions when necessary.  Indications of placental abruption may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased rate of contractions
  • Increase in fetal heart rate
  • Back pain

Identification and action with placental abruption cases

Once identified, physicians need to monitor the size of the abruption and determine if the significance requires evacuation of the fetus with an emergency c-section.  When a doctor fails to diagnose and treat an abrupted placenta and a child suffers a significant cognitive loss, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be pursued to recover the funds needed to care for the disabled child over the course of their lifetime.


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