Denver Attorneys Discuss Placental Risks
A childbirth injury due to placental complications can be traumatizing for both mother and child. OB/GYNs and other medical professionals must be vigilant, recognizing the symptoms and treating placental complications swiftly. When something goes wrong with a pregnancy due to a failure to diagnose and treat placental risks, the negligent medical professional should be held responsible.
The Denver birth injury lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. have been holding doctors accountable for their actions – and failures to act - for decades. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, please call (303) 759-9945 today. We can review your medical records and let you know if you have a viable malpractice claim. If so, we will represent you at no cost, only taking a fee if we get you just compensation from the negligent medical providers.
Placental risks are complications with the placenta, the organ that develops during pregnancy and attaches to the uterine wall, providing the baby with necessary oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord. Here are some potential placental complications:
- Placental previa: In most pregnancies, the placenta attaches to the top or side of the uterus. When placenta previa occurs, the placenta partially or totally covers the mother’s cervix – the outlet for the uterus. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery. Doctors should deliver the baby via cesarean section if the placental previa doesn’t resolve itself (Mayo Clinic).
- Placental abruption: Placental abruption occurs when the placenta ruptures, separating from the wall of the mother’s uterus prior to childbirth. When the placenta ruptures, it deprives the fetus of essential nutrients and oxygen. This can put both the mother and baby in distress. Placental abruption most often occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. An OB/GYN should note risk factors for placental abruption and should continue to look for signs of placental abruption throughout pregnancy.
- Placental insufficiency: Placental insufficiency, also called placental dysfunction or uteroplacental vascular insufficiency, occurs when the placenta does not develop properly, or is damaged. The mother’s blood supply either decreases or doesn’t adequately increase. Without adequate blood supply, the fetus does not receive enough oxygen or nutrients. This can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and birth defects. Diagnosing this problem early is crucial to the health of both mother and baby (Healthline).
- Placenta accreta: When the placenta attached too deeply in the uterine wall, it is known as placenta accreta, increta, or percreta, depending on the deepness of the attachment. Accreta is the most common, affecting an estimated 75% of the one in 2,500 cases of this placental complication. Placenta accreta is linked to placenta previa and uterine scarring, such as that left by previous C-sections or fibroid removal. Doctors must monitor the mother carefully once accreta is diagnosed, as the baby is at risk of premature delivery and the mother at risk of severe hemorrhaging during childbirth (AmericanPregnancy.org). Retained placenta is also a danger in these cases, and can cause postpartum infection. A hysterectomy is often necessary to save the mother’s life.
A doctor’s failure to properly diagnose or treat any of these placental risks may be considered medical malpractice. The standard of care demands that risk factors be recognized, that appropriate tests and monitoring be ordered, and that a proper course of treatment be taken in the event that the baby or mother are in danger.
Failing to meet this standard of care could result in internal bleeding, premature birth, or potential brain damage to the fetus. In the case of placental abruption, severe ruptures can put both mother and baby’s life in danger. Placenta accreta can also be life-threatening to the mother if the bleeding cannot be stopped.
However, just because a placental complication occurs does not mean there is automatically medical malpractice. In general, you must prove three basic elements to demonstrate malpractice:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The doctor was negligent; he or she breached the standard of care owed to the patient.
- The doctor’s negligence was a direct cause of the mother or child’s injuries.
Every state has its own deadlines for filing a medical malpractice claim. Some require additional filings with the hospital or a medical oversight board before a lawsuit can be pursued, so it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect negligence.
We rely on doctors to keep mothers healthy and ensure a safe pregnancy and childbirth process. When a doctor fails to properly diagnose or treat a placental risk, that trust is broken. If you or your child suffered serious injury, you deserve to be compensated for your medical bills, physical pain, emotional suffering, and more. If you would like a top birth injury attorney at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. to meet with you and evaluate your case at no cost, please give our Denver office a call at (303) 759-9945. We have handled serious birth injury cases throughout the United States, and we do not rest until we get justice for our clients.