What Is Placenta Previa And Did It Cause A Birth Injury In Your Baby?
The placenta develops inside the mother’s body and provides important nutrients to the baby. In addition, the umbilical cord develops from the placenta and in the first trimester, the placenta grows faster than the baby. In most pregnancies, the placenta will grow either from the top or side of the uterus.
When the placenta grows and either partially covers the cervix, or completely covers the cervix, this is called placenta previa. For mothers dealing with placenta previa one of the most serious risks is that of bleeding. The bleeding can occur during pregnancy and/or during labor and delivery.
Placenta Previa And Brain Injuries (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy)
Blood and oxygen are essential for the development of a healthy baby. When either of these two essential elements are restricted, the increase for a serious brain injury rises in the baby. Placenta previa is a threat to mother through massive bleeding and a threat to the baby through a reduced level of blood and oxygen. As a result, it is important for doctors to correctly diagnose and manage a mother who is dealing with placenta previa.
How Can A Brain Injury Occur Because Of Placenta Previa?
Fetal hypoxia, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can be the result of mother’s hemorrhaging. HIE is a medical term which essentially deals with a reduced level of blood and oxygen, which causes a brain injury. As mother continues to bleed, this can reduce the oxygen and blood that the baby needs to remain healthy.
During labor and delivery, the electronic fetal heart monitor (a device used to monitor the baby’s heart beats and mother’s contractions) may reveal a reading which can alert doctors and nurses that the baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery. For example, the baby’s heart rate on the monitor might drop substantially and remain low for a considerable amount of time (bradycardia). Or, there may be minimal variability on the strips (strip moves from Category I to Category III). All these things, and more, can alert doctors and nurses that the baby is no longer safe for a vaginal delivery.
Injury to the brain can occur when doctors fail to recognize placenta previa, and do not take steps to rescue an ailing baby. In some cases, a C-Section will have to be performed to safely deliver the baby. When doctors delay the C-Section, or fail to act on a C-Section, the risk of a brain injury from placenta previa increases.
Risk Factors For Placenta Previa
Below are some of the risk factors for placenta previa:
Mother Over 40
Placenta Previa In Past Pregnancy
Illicit Drug Use
Multiple Babies (Twins, etc…)
Scarring Of The Uterus
Uterine Surgeries: This can include fibroid removal, previous C-Section, abortion
Placenta Previa Signs And Symptoms & Diagnosis
Bright red bleeding is one of the main signs of placenta previa. Generally, mothers will experience the bleeding around 30 weeks or so. After around 24 weeks, doctors should consider a possibility of placenta previa when bright red bleeding is present.
Doctors can diagnose placenta previa through an ultrasound. Generally, the condition is diagnosed during the second trimester of pregnancy. Women will usually express concerns about bright red bleeding during this time frame.
Boston Law Group, LLC represents victims of birth injury and medical malpractice throughout Maryland. We can help victims in:
Prince George’s County
Anne Arundel County
St. Mary’s County
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