Placental Abruption

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Placental abruption is a condition in which all or part of your placenta separates from the wall of your uterus. It usually occurs during the second half of pregnancy. Placental abruption is a serious condition that can become life-threatening to you and your baby.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • You may be at risk for blood clotting problems. You may also lose a large amount of blood. This may lead to decreased blood flow and low blood pressure. This can cause your kidneys and other organs to fail. You may also lose a large amount of blood after the delivery of your baby.

  • Your unborn baby may not get enough oxygen or nutrients. This may be life-threatening. He may be born premature, and have a low birth weight and other health problems.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Monitoring:

  • Vital signs include blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. These give healthcare providers information about your current health.

  • A Foley catheter is a tube that is put into your bladder to drain your urine into a bag. You may need a Foley catheter so your healthcare providers can check how much you are urinating.

  • External fetal heart monitoring is used to monitor your baby's heartbeat and the contractions of your uterus. A small metal monitor is placed on your abdomen. A belt will be put around your waist to hold the monitor in place.

Medicines:

  • Steroids may be given to help your baby's lungs develop faster if early delivery may happen.

  • Tocolytics may be given to stop contractions if your baby is not ready to be born.

Tests:

  • Blood tests may be done to find the cause of your vaginal bleeding.

  • An ultrasound may be done to look for signs of placental abruption such as blood clots. It may also be used to check the amount of amniotic fluid.

Treatment:

  • IV fluids may be given to help increase your blood pressure to a normal level.

  • Bed rest may be needed until your baby is ready to be born.

  • Delivery of your baby may be needed if your due date is close or the placental abruption is severe. You may need a C-section if you have heavy bleeding and your or your baby's life is in danger.

  • A blood transfusion may be given if you lose a large amount of blood. Blood is given through an IV.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Placental Abruption (Inpatient Care)

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