What are placental abruptions and its symptoms?

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
August 4, 2023

When a Houston couple is expecting a child, it is a time that is meant to result in happiness and excitement. Of course, there are the common concerns that accompany having a baby, but few actually think about the reality that there is the chance that complications could arise. Trusting one’s doctor is inherent, but that does not mean that a negligent doctor won’t make a mistake before, during and after the delivery process that could lead to issues that can cause long-term problems for the baby. One particular issue that is rare but does happen is placental abruptions.
The placenta’s role in a pregnancy is to provide nutrients to the fetus. With a placental abruption, the placenta will peel away from the inner wall of the uterus prior to the baby being delivered. This can be partial or complete. If there is a placental abruption, the baby can be deprived of the necessary nutrients and oxygen. It can also result in the mother suffering from heavy bleeding. This can often happen without warning and lead to serious risks to both the infant and the mother. It is important that a doctor is able to recognize the possible symptoms and dangers of a placental abruption occurring. If there is a mistake made by the doctor or a failure to act, the issue can become a major problem.
The placental abruption will generally happen in the final trimester, most often within the last few weeks prior to birth. Symptoms include bleeding from the vagina, pain in the abdomen, pain in the back, uterine tenderness, and rapid uterine contractions that occur one after the other. The amount in which the placenta has separated from the inner wall of the uterus is not often linked to the amount of bleeding the mother is having as blood might become trapped in the placenta.
If a doctor does not act quickly enough to treat the placental abruption, it is possible that an opportunity to avoid the long-term problems is missed and there will be a foundation for a birth injury case. Those who have suffered from a placental abruption and had it affect the mother and the baby may have a right to be compensated. Speaking to a legal professional experienced in pursuing claims due to doctor’s error is the first step that a couple should take after a placental abruption.
Source: Mayo Clinic, “Placental Abruption Definition,” accessed on Dec. 22, 2015

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

August 4 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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