Although the birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion, some birth injuries could result from a placental abruption. Placental abruption results in the baby not being able to receive enough oxygen before delivery. The placenta is normally delivered after the baby is born but will sometimes separate from the uterine wall when the abruption occurs.
The baby not only has a lack of oxygen, but there is a lack of nutrients and blood getting to the baby. This is considered an emergency and any indications of an abruption should be met with the immediate delivery of the baby. Failure to do so could constitute medical negligence.
Common Injuries Infants Can Suffer at Birth Because of Placental Abruption
An abruption can lead to asphyxia. Manson’s Tropical Infectious Diseases states that asphyxia in neonates can lead to seizures. Cerebral palsy is also a very common injury that results after an abruption occurs, due to the asphyxia the infants suffer. The severity of the injury is often determined by how long the baby is without oxygen and if there are any other issues along with the abruption.
Developmental and Learning Disabilities
Even if the time frame for the baby being without oxygen is minimal, developmental delays could still be an issue. The baby might not be able to crawl, walk, or talk as soon as other babies who are the same age. Therapy could be needed once your child is a little older.
Learning disabilities could also present after a placental abruption. These disabilities likely won’t begin to appear until the child is older and begins to try to read, write, learn colors and numbers, or tries to do other things that relate to education. You could take legal action against a negligent medical professional if your child suffered any of these conditions because of a placental abruption.
Types of Placental Abruption Your Child Might Have Faced
Cleveland Clinic says that the type of placental abruption can determine what kind of treatment is appropriate. The four types of placental abruption are:
- Partial placental abruption: With this kind of placental abruption, the placental has not yet detached entirely from the uterine wall.
- Total or complete placental abruption: When the placenta separates entirely from the uterine wall. A total or complete placental abruption usually causes more vaginal bleeding than a partial placental abruption.
- Revealed placental abruption: Vaginal bleeding that is moderate to severe.
- Concealed placental abruption: Sometimes, there is no or little observable vaginal bleeding. There is actually bleeding, but it gets trapped between the wall of the uterus and the placenta.
When a patient has symptoms of a placental abruption, the health care provider needs to identify the type of abruption quickly. Cleveland Clinic states that placental abruptions happen in about one percent of all pregnancies.
Complications from Placental Abruption That Your Child Could Have Suffered
The baby can experience these complications from placental abruption:
- Low birth weight and the many medical problems that can result from low birth weight
- Stillborn, meaning the baby is deceased when delivered
- Damage to brain tissue from the lack of oxygen
- Premature birth, which the Mayo Clinic says can cause breathing issues, heart abnormalities, vision problems, hearing impairment, dental issues, behavioral and psychological challenges, and chronic health issues, in addition to the previously-mentioned cerebral palsy and learning difficulties
- Growth problems
The mother can experience kidney failure, hemorrhage, blood loss and blood clotting issues, and could need blood transfusions. These losses are compensable, and you could pursue damages for them.
Causes of Placental Abruption Your Medical Provider Should Have Noticed
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of placental abruption if they have these conditions or experiences:
- They are carrying more than one baby, like twins or triplets
- They have a medical condition, like high blood pressure, uterine fibroids, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, a blood clotting disorder, or a short umbilical cord
- Smokers or people with a history of drug use
- The woman’s water breaks too early, in other words, the membranes rupture prematurely
- An abdominal injury that harms the uterus can cause a traumatic placental abruption
Also, having a previous placental abruption increases the risk of the same condition in future pregnancies. Your medical provider should have noticed these warning signs and taken action to protect you and your child.
How to Know if You Might Have a Placental Abruption
The most common indication of a possible placental abruption is when a woman in the third trimester of pregnancy experiences cramping with vaginal bleeding. The symptoms can vary from one person to another, so you will want to get an immediate medical evaluation if you have those symptoms or these:
- Discomfort in the lower abdomen or back (usually sudden and can range from mild cramps to intense contractions or pain.
- These uterine contractions can be more severe and last longer than usual contraction of labor.
- The uterus could feel tender.
- You might notice that the baby moves less than before.
These symptoms could indicate placental abruption or any one of a host of other situations. You will want to get medical attention at once.
Speak With Our Team About Your Birth Injury Case Today
If your baby is injured because of placental abruption, contact Brown & Barron for a consultation to find out about your rights. Our birth injury lawyers could pursue fair compensation.
The pain and suffering and medical costs you face because of a medical professional’s failure to diagnose and treat your placental abruption could be compensable.