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Placental abruption poses serious risks for California mothers

All parents, and doctors, hope for the best result when a woman goes into labor in California - a healthy child, as well as a healthy mother. Unfortunately, however, child birth does not always go as planned and complications may arise.

One serious complication that may arise is a placental abruption. A placental abruption occurs when a woman's placenta, which encourages a baby's growth during pregnancy, pulls apart from the uterus's inner wall prior to the delivery of the baby. A placental abruption may be partial or full, but in either instance it may deprive an infant of life-sustaining oxygen, as well as lead to serious bleeding for the mother.

One of the issues that doctors must look out for with placental abruptions is its suddenness. If an abruption starts but is not identified and treated promptly, the lives of both baby and mother could be in serious harm. For the baby, it can lead to premature birth or stillbirth, as well as deprivation of crucial oxygen and nutrients. The mother can suffer from organ failure, shock and blood clotting complications.

Treatment for a placental abruption will depend on the stage of a woman's pregnancy. If the abruption appears minimal and the baby is close to full term, a doctor may direct a vaginal birth. A more serious abruption may be cause for an emergency caesarean section. When an abruption occurs earlier in a woman's pregnancy, it is likely that the woman and baby will be monitored in the hospital until her condition, and the baby's, has stabilized.

It is unknown what precisely causes a placental abruption, but it may be caused by a severe injury to the abdomen or the sudden loss of amniotic fluid.

If a doctor has failed to properly identify or treat a placental abruption and serious injury has occurred to the mother or baby, it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit and obtain compensation for such injuries.

Source: MayoClinic.org, "Diseases and Conditions: Placental Abruption," accessed June 5, 2015

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