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Placenta Previa

Connecticut Placenta Previa Lawyers for Complications from Pregnancy

An OB holding a signage showing placenta previa.Placenta previa is a condition experienced by about one out of every 200 expecting mothers. It presents risks for the mother and the fetus, but these risks can usually be managed with appropriate medical care. If you experienced placenta previa during your pregnancy, and if you or your child has suffered from complications as a result, you may be entitled to financial compensation, and we recommend that you speak with a Connecticut placenta previa attorney promptly.

What Is Placenta Previa?

Placenta previa is a condition characterized by the placenta covering the mother’s cervix, which is the opening from the uterus into the birth canal. Normally, the placenta develops low in the uterus initially, but then shifts to the top of the womb as it and the fetus grow. With placenta previa, the placenta does not relocate to the top of the womb; and, as a result, it obstructs the fetus’s path to the birth canal during labor.

Placenta previa can be described as full, partial, or marginal. With full placenta previa, the cervix is completely covered, and this presents the greatest risk of complications for the mother and the baby. Partial placenta previa occurs when the placenta covers a portion of the cervical opening, while marginal placenta previa (also known as low-lying placenta) occurs when the placenta remains near the cervix but does not create an obstruction.

What Causes Placenta Previa?

While the precise cause of placenta previa is not known, it is linked to a few primary risk factors. These are: (i) getting pregnant after age 35, (ii) having multiple prior pregnancies, and (iii) prior uterine surgery. When an expecting mother presents with one or more of these risk factors, her doctor should pay particular attention to signs that the placenta may not be shifting upward as it should. The Mayo Clinic also notes that individuals of races other than white are more likely to experience placenta previa, and identifies additional risk factors for placenta previa as follows:

  • Having placenta previa during a prior pregnancy
  • Being pregnant with multiples (i.e., twins or triplets)
  • Cocaine use prior to or during pregnancy
  • Tobacco use prior to or during pregnancy

How Is Placenta Previa Diagnosed?

Ultrasounds are typically used to diagnose placenta previa during pregnancy. This includes both abdominal ultrasounds and transvaginal ultrasounds. When performing transvaginal ultrasounds to diagnose placenta previa, doctors must exercise care to ensure that they do not damage the placenta with the ultrasound device.

In addition to conducting ultrasound testing, doctors should also assess expecting mothers’ symptoms to determine whether they may be indicative of placenta previa. Typical symptoms of placenta previa include:

  • Contractions prior to labor
  • Cramps or sharp pain in the abdomen
  • Enlarged uterus
  • Pressure in the lower back
  • Vaginal bleeding without pain

The bleeding associated with placenta previa typically begins no earlier than the twentieth week of pregnancy, and it can range from light to heavy. It is also common for bleeding caused by placenta previa to start and stop intermittently, in some cases with days or weeks between instances.

What Are the Risks Associated with Placenta Previa?

Similar to other issues with the placenta, such as placental abruption and placenta accreta, the risks for the mother primarily relate to significant blood loss, while the risks for the fetus relate to complications from preterm birth. Also similar to other issues with the placenta, these risks can often be mitigated or avoided with appropriate medical care.

With full placenta previa, a cesarean (C-section) delivery will typically be necessary. While C-section deliveries carry their own risks, these risks can be managed effectively, and they are generally less severe than the risks associated with attempting a vaginal delivery. With partial and marginal placenta previa, it may be possible to perform a vaginal delivery safely; but, again, adequate medical care is essential to protecting both the mother and the fetus.

Can Complications from Placenta Previa Support a Claim for Medical Malpractice?

Due to the fact that the risks associated with placenta previa can generally be managed, complications resulting from placenta previa will often be indicative of malpractice. This is true for complications experienced by the mother and the fetus. If you have questions about your family’s legal rights and would like to speak with a Connecticut placenta previa attorney, we invite you to schedule a free initial consultation.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation at Berkowitz Hanna

To speak with a Connecticut placenta previa lawyer about filing a medical malpractice claim for complications from placenta previa, please call or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free and confidential, and you pay nothing unless we win.