Abruptop placentae or placental abruption is an uncommon, but serious condition in pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the placenta develops inside the uterus to provide nourishment for the fetus during development. This circular shaped organ attaches to the walls, passing oxygen and nutrients to the baby through the umbilical cord. It also produces hormones that promote the healthy growth of the fetus.
Protection of the fetus is another job of the placenta. When the baby produces waste, it moves back through the umbilical cord into the placenta, which delivers the waste into the mother’s blood stream for disposal. It also protects the baby from most types of bacteria, though it offers no protection from viruses. During the last stages of pregnancy, the placenta moves antibodies from the mother to the fetus, which continue to provide immunization for the baby even after he or she is born. After the baby’s birth, the mother pushes out the placenta as afterbirth.
Placental Abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus during pregnancy. Even the smallest separation can result in fetal distress and painful bleeding for the expectant mother. The condition must be treated quickly, otherwise further medical damage, or even the death of the baby may occur.
A Maryland family recently filed a negligence lawsuit, alleging that negligence by the attending physician and hospital staff ultimately resulted in the death of their baby following an untreated placenta abruption. The pregnant mother reportedly arrived at the hospital during her 27th week of pregnancy with severe vaginal bleeding, weak fetal monitoring results and a ruptured amniotic fluid sac. These are all symptoms of an abruption having occurred.
According to the court complaint, the doctor did not recognize the urgent nature of the situation. She did not order a Cesarean Section delivery or notify the neonatology unit of an impending emergency. It reportedly took more than three hours for the doctor to eventually deliver the baby. The family alleges that the baby suffered from hypoxia, a condition that deprives the brain of much needed oxygen. This is often a direct result of placenta abruption.
The family’s lawsuit asks the court to award more than $1 million in compensation for the death of their baby. Doctors are expected to meet reasonable standards of care in their professional work. These are practices that other physicians in the industry consider necessary for a reasonable level of care. The court documents allege that the doctor in this case did not meet the standard of care applicable to a placenta abruption and the specific circumstances of the birth.
When these birthing tragedies occur, they leave families with years of physical, mental and financial hardship. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, parents can request that the courts find the responsible party liable and award compensation.
If your newborn experienced a birth injury stemming from placenta abruption, contact the experienced birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.