Placental abruption

The placenta, or ‘afterbirth’ as it is sometimes called, is what keeps your baby fed, watered and, well, basically, alive during your pregnancy. When there is a problem with it, your baby can be in danger.

The placenta is attached to the inside of your uterus, and provides your baby with blood and oxygen through the umbilical cord. If the placenta comes away from your uterus, the supply of blood from you gets cut off, and so is reduced or cut off completely to the baby. This is an emergency and usually means that your baby has to be born immediately. There is only so long it can cope before brain damage sets in.

Sometimes the placenta only partially comes away, which means that your baby is still getting enough blood to keep going, but can result in problems with its growth or cause other complications.

The common signs of placental abruption are vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain and lower back pain, although depending on the position of your placenta, there might not be any visible bleeding if it’s trapped inside the uterus.

Your doctors and midwives are trained on when to suspect placental abruption and what needs to happen to protect both you and your baby from lasting damage. If they fail to do this, it can lead to your baby suffering a devastating brain injury and lifelong disabilities.

Our solicitors have helped many families bring claims when errors in placental care have caused their baby to suffer brain damage. If you have a similar story, let our lawyers know and we can explain whether your child may be able to make a claim for compensation.

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