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How Can Placenta Previa Injuries Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

How Can Placenta Previa Injuries Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

There are certain complications that can occur during pregnancy and delivery that can pose a risk of injury or other types of medical conditions to both the mother and baby. Some of these complications include preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, umbilical cord compression, and placenta previa. When a mother suffers from placenta previa, her doctors need to timely diagnose the condition so that actions can be taken to ensure a safe delivery, such as planning for a cesarean section. When placenta previa goes undiagnosed or when healthcare teams fail to make adequate preparation, it can lead to injuries for the mother or child. 

What is Placenta Previa?

Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta attaches to the lower part of the uterus, resulting in the cervix being partially or completely covered. Normally, the placenta does not attach to the lower part of the uterus. This is because when the cervix begins to dilate for delivery, a placenta that is attached to the lower part of the uterus can tear, causing excessive bleeding. Some cases of placenta previa can resolve themselves if the placenta migrates to the correct position during pregnancy. This is why placenta previa becomes a more serious concern later in the pregnancy when labor may occur. 

Cases of placenta previa may be categorized as marginal when a placenta does not entirely cover the cervix, and complete previa when the placenta completely covers the cervix. 

Placenta previa is usually diagnosed during ultrasounds. If doctors suspect the condition, they may perform both an abdominal ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound. Doctors may also suspect placenta previa when expecting mothers experience symptoms such as unusual bleeding. 

Complications Caused by Placenta Previa

Some of the health conditions and complications that can be caused by placenta previa include:

  • Excessive bleeding and life-threatening blood loss
  • Placenta accreta, a condition in which the placenta cannot or has difficulty detaching from the uterine wall following delivery
  • Placental abruption, or the detaching of the placenta from the uterine wall prior to delivery

Complications from placenta previa can lead to the mother or baby needing blood transfusions, or can lead to a baby suffering hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or cerebral palsy, or may require a mother to undergo a hysterectomy.

Treatment for Placenta Previa

Because placenta previa can sometimes resolve on its own, the condition requires close monitoring during pregnancy. Mothers who experience bleeding due to placenta previa may require hospitalization. If the condition does not resolve, doctors will usually schedule a cesarean section to facilitate delivery. C-sections may also be performed pre-term if the mother and baby are at risk of imminent serious harm due to placenta previa. 

When Are Complications from Placenta Previa Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Complications from placenta previa may be the result of medical malpractice or inadequate care from doctors and other providers. Examples of medical malpractice that can lead to complications from placenta previa include:

  • Failure to diagnose placenta previa
  • Failure to conduct monitoring of a case of placenta previa
  • Performing a pelvic exam on an expecting mother diagnosed with placenta previa, as the exam can trigger bleeding or premature birth
  • Not advising a woman with placenta previa of restrictions to help avoid complications, such as avoiding travel, strenuous exercise, or sexual intercourse
  • Failure to recommend cesarean section delivery for a woman with placenta previa
  • Failure to monitor for complications or distress during delivery for a woman with placenta previa

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near You to Discuss Your Birth Injury Case in New Jersey

Were you or a loved one injured as a result of medical malpractice in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive medical malpractice attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. represent clients injured in Lakewood, Westfield, Toms River, Brick, and throughout Ocean County, Union County, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey. Call (732) 576-8860 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 25 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701 as well as offices in Hazlet, Brick, and Westfield.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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