Suing for Placenta Eruption | A Guide

April 14, 2023

Having a placental eruption is a terrifying thought. This event jeopardizes the health and lives of both the pregnant woman and her unborn child. It can occur in the weeks and even months before your due date. 

Placental Abruption Defined

Placental abruption is also called abruption of placenta, placenta eruption, preterm premature rupture of membranes, and abruptio placentae.

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall too early. When you are pregnant, your placenta develops inside your uterus. Your placenta is attached to your uterine wall, and your baby is attached to your placenta. The abruption of the placenta should happen when you are ready to give birth, but in these cases, the placenta disconnects too early in the pregnancy.

Potential Complications of Placental Abruption

Placental abruption is relatively rare. However, it is a serious complication when it occurs. It can place the mother and fetus at serious health risk.

Complications associated with placental abruption include:

  • Cesarean section
  • Coagulopathy
  • Fetal demise
  • Hysterectomy
  • Maternal increased risk of cardiac events
  • Maternal death
  • Premature birth
  • Rapid loss of amniotic fluid protecting the fetus
  • Recurrence in 4 to 12% of cases
  • Severe hemorrhage
  • Transfusion-related complications

Placental abruption is also a major cause of the birth injury cerebral palsy.

Due to the serious nature of placental abruption, an interprofessional team of healthcare professionals should manage the emergency, including a hematologist, radiologist, obstetrician, obstetric nurse, and intensivist.

Risk Factors for Placental Abruption During Pregnancy

Factors that can increase the risk of placental abruption in pregnant women include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Older age
  • Blood vessel disorders
  • Lack of oxygen to the placenta
  • Tobacco use
  • Cocaine use

One of the strongest risk factors is placental abruption in a previous pregnancy. Hypertensive disorders are another substantial indicator.

What To Do If You Experience Symptoms of Placental Abruption

It is important to seek medical aid if you experience symptoms of placental abruption. Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, medical professionals must carefully monitor your health and that of your unborn baby. 

If you experience symptoms associated with placental abruption, call your doctor immediately.

Symptoms of placenta abruption

Symptoms associated with placenta eruption include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Varying amounts of blood
  • Fetal death

Vaginal bleeding is the main symptom. However, 20% of women do not experience it. Vaginal bleeding in the third trimester should be taken particularly seriously. 

Placental abruption is a life-threatening condition. If the bleeding is not stopped, both the mother and fetus could die. If the placenta completely or nearly separates, fetal death is inevitable unless a doctor performs an immediate cesarean section delivery. One to five percent of maternal fatalities are due to placental abruption. 

Placental Abruption Lawsuits

Before you decide whether to pursue a placental abruption lawsuit, you should understand what filing your lawsuit requires. Some cases concerning placental abruption will not succeed in a court of law. The details of your case determine your likelihood of winning your lawsuit.

Can You Sue Your Healthcare Provider for Placental Abruption?

When placental abruption occurs, it can be sudden and with little warning. It must be diagnosed swiftly and treated immediately to safeguard the health and well-being of the mother and child. Complications and death may follow if your medical practitioner fails to act quickly.

If you have suffered a placental abruption, you may wonder whether suing your healthcare provider is an option. The strength of your lawsuit depends on several factors, including whether:

  • The healthcare provider in question owed you a duty
  • The healthcare provider breached that duty
  • Breach of duty resulted in injury
  • Damages resulted from the injury

If you cannot prove each of the four elements, you cannot sue the healthcare provider successfully. 

For example, imagine that your healthcare provider clearly acted negligently by not diagnosing your placental abruption. They failed to make the diagnosis even though most similarly trained healthcare providers would have immediately recognized your condition. If you and your child suffered no damages from the incident, the basis for your lawsuit does not exist. 

It can be challenging to determine the strength of your placental abruption lawsuit. A birth injury lawyer can analyze your case and advise you on your legal options.

The Evidence Needed to Prove Your Case

To win your case, you must prove that your healthcare practitioner failed to provide you with the standard level of care. In some medical malpractice cases, this can be quite obvious. However, with placental abruption, it may be necessary to bring in expert witnesses.

An expert witness can testify that your healthcare practitioner should have recognized the symptoms of placental abruption and acted immediately, given the facts of your case.

Other evidence could include:

  • Eyewitness accounts of your symptoms
  • CCTV footage of your sy]mptoms
  • Medical records of your treatment
  • Records of the time lapse between the onset of your symptoms and their treatment
  • Medical bills and other indications of your damages

Each case is unique, and not every case will require the same evidence. Your attorney will determine what evidence will be beneficial to your case. They will investigate and gather the available evidence and arrange any necessary expert witnesses for you.

How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help

Pursuing a lawsuit while suffering from the aftermath of placental abruption can be daunting. An experienced birth injury lawyer can help by taking on the administrative, legal, and emotional burden of filing your lawsuit. This allows you to focus on your recovery and your family's physical and emotional well-being.

Your attorney will ease the process by:

  • Carefully analyzing your case and determining its likelihood of success in court
  • Explaining any potential issues that could prevent your lawsuit from succeeding as well as discussing the available legal options
  • Handling the administrative aspects, ensuring paperwork is filed properly and on time
  • Preparing your legal arguments and representing you in court
  • Arguing for your best interests in any out-of-court settlement negotiations
  • Offering legal guidance and advice while carefully explaining new developments
  • Ensuring you are fully aware of your legal options and have the knowledge to make informed decisions

Additionally, your birth injury lawyer will work on a contingency fee basis. This means you owe no money upfront. You only pay once your attorney recovers compensation, creating a risk-free arrangement. 

Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Case Today

If you or your family have been injured due to negligent medical action during a placental eruption, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your damages. The placental abruption attorneys at McEldrew Purtell can help you with your lawsuit. Contact us today to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer experienced in these cases.