Placenta previa is the abnormal implantation of the placenta over the opening to the cervix in the later stages of pregnancy.
There are four categories of placenta previa:
- Complete (where the opening is entirely covered)
- Partial (where a portion of the opening is covered)
- Marginal (where the edge of the placenta reaches the margin of the cervix)
- and low-lying (where the placenta is implanted close to the cervix, but does not reach it).
To discuss your case with one of our Cleveland placenta previa attorneys, call The Becker Law Firm at (440) 252-4399 and request a free consultation.
Risk Factors for Placenta Previa
Placenta previa occurs in one out of every 200 pregnancies.
Women are more likely to experience this complication if they have:
- Multiple gestations
- Many prior pregnancies
- Large/abnormal placenta
- Advanced maternal age
- Uterine scarring because of prior cesarean section or abortion
- Prior placenta previa
Diagnosing and Treating Placenta Previa
Nurses and obstetricians must use an ultrasound to rule out placenta previa when expectant mothers have symptoms, including cramping and vaginal bleeding. Bleeding usually occurs after 28 weeks. When placenta previa is suspected, health care providers should avoid direct vaginal examination because the exam can cause the placenta to separate and trigger severe bleeding.
There are several treatments that may be used for patients with placenta previa. Some women are treated with pelvic rest and modified bed rest. Hospital admission is typically considered after some amount of bleeding. To preserve the life and health of the baby, an emergency cesarean section is required if labor can’t be stopped, if there is uncontrollable bleeding, or if the baby is in distress.
In the case of premature infants, special measures may need to be taken, including evaluation of the baby’s lung maturity and drugs to prevent early labor. The largest risk to mother and child is that of uncontrolled bleeding, which can be fatal in less than 15 minutes. Physicians should be prepared to provide blood transfusions.
If your doctors failed to properly manage placenta previa during your labor and delivery, contact our Ohio birth injury attorneys at (440) 252-4399 or send us a confidential, no-risk email through our website.