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Pregnancy

Placental Abruption – Management, Risk Factors and Treatment

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By Dr. Deepa Sethia, Gynaecology

The placenta is an organ that develops within the uterus at the time of pregnancy for nourishment of the baby. Placental abruption is a complication wherein this placental lining peels away from the uterus, either completely or partially, prior to the delivery; characterized by symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, uterine tenderness, stomach pain and general discomfort. This condition deprives the fetus of the required supply of nutrients and oxygen.

RISK FACTORS:

  1. Past history of placental abruption
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Abdominal trauma from a fall or a blow
  4. Substance abuse
  5. Untimely rupture of the fluid-filled membrane that cushions the baby
  6. Blood-clotting disorders
  7. Multiple pregnancy
  8. Maternal age: Being over 40 increases the risk factors

TREATMENT:

  1. In case of a mild abruption prior to the completion of the 34th week of pregnancy, and the heart rate of the baby being normal, you should be hospitalized and kept under close monitoring. When the baby’s condition looks stable and the bleeding stops, you would be administered medications to improve the lung capacity of the baby, in case premature delivery is required.
  2. If the pregnancy is about to complete its full term and the risk of placental abruption seems low, a carefully supervised vaginal delivery can be possible. In case the abruption poses a threat for you and your baby, you would need a C-section delivery. Blood transfusion might be required in case of severe bleeding. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist and ask a free question.