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What is Placental Abruption by Emily Cronin

By at March 11, 2014 | 6:36 am | Print

Placental Abruption is a condition that can occur during pregnancy. This condition is where the placenta, which gives the baby oxygen and nourishment, detaches from the uterine wall. Thus causing the mother to have extreme bleeding and the baby to only receive very little to no oxygen and nutrition. This condition is severe and if diagnosed it should be treated immediately. If you fail to get treatment you will harm not only yourself, but also your baby. The worst case scenario for this condition is death.

This condition is most commonly found in expectant mothers during their last trimester. According to the Mayo Clinic the symptoms for this condition are vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, back pain, uterine tenderness and rapid contractions that come right after another. These symptoms are similar to labor, but are much more severe. This condition is slow to develop and will continue to worsen if you do not get treatment. If you have any of these symptoms you are advised to go see your doctor, or to bring it up at your next peri-natal appointment. By this time you should be seeing your doctor every one to two weeks. If these symptoms are severe you are advised to go to the hospital immediately and have them check you out. Waiting could cost you and your baby your lives.

If you have this condition you may be wondering why. It is different for each pregnancy, but most of the time it is due to a traumatic accident or a extreme loss of amniotic fluid. If you experience any of these events you are advised to go to the doctor and get checked out. Also, you should be counting the movements that your baby is doing to make sure that the baby is still active.

Due to the severity of this condition you will find that there are a few things that can go wrong. According to the Mayo Clinic the mother can experience shock due to blood loss, blood clotting problems, a need for blood transfusion due to blood loss. You might also experience kidney and other organ failure. The baby can experience lack of oxygen and nutrition, can be born prematurely or could be a possible stillborn delivery. After the baby is born the mother might not be able to stop bleeding. If this is the case then a removal of the uterus is necessary or else the mother will bleed out.

The tests that are done to determine if you have this condition are a physical exam, an ultrasound and blood tests. The physical exam that will be performed is where the doctor will feel around your stomach and uterus to see how tender and rigid it might be. This will determine how severe. The ultrasound that will be done will be similar to the one that you might have received around your twentieth week of pregnancy. That ultrasound is known as the anatomy scan. The blood tests will help them determine if you have any abnormalities in your iron levels. They will also take into account your blood clotting factors.

Treatment for this condition is based on how far along your pregnancy is. If you are less than thirty-four weeks of pregnancy you will be admitted to the hospital for close observation. If you are more than thirty-four weeks you will be examined to determine how bad the condition is. Depending on the severity you will either be admitted for monitoring or you will be delivering the baby immediately.

Ultimately the only way to prevent this condition from happening is to steer clear of drugs and smoking. Also, if you already have high blood pressure you should be doing something to get it under control. This condition is preventable and should be taken seriously.

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/placental-abruption/basics/definition/con-20024292

 

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