Ruptured Placenta Claims

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Ruptured Placenta Claims 

A ruptured placenta can pose a serious risk to a pregnancy, with potentially devastating consequences for the health of both mother and baby. If you have experienced a delay in diagnosis and treatment of  placental abruption as a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the poor treatment you have received.

The medical negligence experts at JMW Solicitors have years of experience helping families to make placental abruption claims against healthcare professionals who have provided substandard care. We understand how traumatic a severe placental abruption can be, and will guide you through every stage of the legal process, ensuring that your compensation claim is handled professionally and with as little stress for you as possible.

By offering the right legal advice and representation through a no win, no fee agreement, we will give you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need to recover any financial losses and pay for any future care that you or your baby might require. With decades of experience in making successful placental abruption claims, we have the knowledge to help you achieve the outcome you require.

Contact our clinical negligence team today to discuss your case by calling 0345 872 6666, or complete an online contact form and we will be in touch to discuss your case at a convenient time for you. 

How JMW Can Help With Your Placental Abruption Claim

Having a baby should be a joyous time, and while most deliveries run smoothly, mistakes can occur that can have a significant impact on the lives of those involved. If it can be proven that medical negligence played a role in the delayed diagnosis and treatment of your placental abruption, JMW Solicitors can provide the support you need to claim the compensation you deserve.

We will guide you through the whole claims process from start to finish, beginning with a conversation to establish the circumstances of the case and advising you on whether or not you have a case. We will review your medical records and help you gather the necessary evidence to show that you were not treated properly by your medical staff so that we can build a strong case. 

Our aim will always be to progress and conclude the case as quickly as possible by exploring all opportunities to reach a satisfactory out-of-court settlement. We understand that the medical negligence claims process can be stressful and complex, which is why we handle birth injury claims with care and sensitivity, while keeping you in the loop using transparent and jargon-free language so you always have a clear understanding of the situation.

Our team of medical negligence lawyers has a strong national reputation, and are regarded as being among the best in England. Led by Eddie Jones, one of the leading practitioners in the field, the team includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel of clinical negligence solicitors and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.

Our excellent success rate with medical negligence claims on behalf of clients affected by birth injury speaks for itself, and we are often able to secure settlements at a higher level than the national average. We will give you the best chance of making a successful medical negligence claim, providing you with the funds you need to recover.

What is a ruptured placenta?

A ruptured placenta, or placental abruption, is a rare but potentially very serious condition that affects around one in 100 pregnancies. It occurs when the placenta starts to separate from the inner wall of the uterus before birth.

This can create a number of serious health risks for both the mother and baby. When the placenta detaches from the wall of the womb, it cuts off the baby's supply of oxygen and nutrients, which affects their development or may even put their life at risk. The abruption might also cause the mother to experience internal bleeding, which can be fatal in severe cases.

As such, if a pregnant mother is showing signs of a ruptured placenta, or is known to be at high risk of placental abruption, the healthcare professional in charge of monitoring the pregnancy will need to do everything possible to ensure the condition is being properly managed and treated.

What are the potential health consequences of placental abruption?

The health outcomes of placental abruption will depend on how severe the rupture is, but even relatively minor abruptions can create potentially serious long-term risks to the health of the unborn baby.

Even if only a small part of the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, it creates an increased risk of the following:

  • Problems with the baby's growth and physical development
  • Brain injury or brain damage, including cerebral palsy
  • Premature birth
  • Stillbirth, in the most severe cases

If the mother experiences a more severe abruption, all of these risks to the child will be increased. Additionally, the mother herself will be at risk of life-threatening bleeding, meaning immediate treatment will be required to prevent excessive blood loss.

How is placental abruption treated?

There is no way of halting or repairing a ruptured placenta, which means this is a condition that requires active management to ensure that both mother and baby are kept safe.

If the placental abruption is relatively mild - or if the rupture occurs when the baby is still too premature to be safely delivered - the doctor and midwife will need to monitor the patient closely to make sure the baby is developing properly, and that there are no warning signs of premature delivery.

For more severe placental abruptions, it will likely be necessary to carry out an emergency Caesarean section to deliver the baby before they sustain a serious injury. An immediate blood transfusion may also be required for the mother if they have already experienced severe bleeding, and doctors will also need to make sure she does not have haemophilia, a condition that interferes with the blood’s ability to clot.

How does medical negligence contribute to the risk of placental abruption?

Because placental abruptions are potentially so serious, doctors, midwives and other medical professionals have a responsibility to be extremely careful when looking for the signs of a ruptured placenta and treating them as quickly as possible. If this does not happen, they could be guilty of medical negligence.

Common failures of care involving placental abruptions include:

  • Failing to correctly diagnose a placental abruption
  • Failure to properly monitor a mother at risk of a ruptured placenta
  • Delaying or failing to correctly perform a caesarean section when required

These failures of treatment, caused by clinical negligence, can have devastating consequences for families, including:

  • The mother experiencing shock or brain injury due to excessive blood loss
  • The mother requiring a hysterectomy or other life-saving emergency surgery
  • The baby being born at a low birth weight, or with lifelong developmental problems
  • The baby being born with permanent brain damage and subsequently developing cerebral palsy due to being starved of oxygen
  • In extreme cases, the lives of both mother and child being put at risk

If you or your baby has experienced a severe birth injury as a result of medical negligence, get in touch with JMW Solicitors today. Our expert medical negligence team will be able to advise you on whether you have a viable compensation claim, handling your case on a no win, no fee basis.

FAQs About Ruptured Placenta Claims

What are the most common risk factors for placental abruption?

There are many possible causes of a ruptured placenta, but the root cause is often difficult to pinpoint. The following are considered to be risk factors that can increase a mother's risk of a placental abruption: 

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
  • Smoking and drug use, including cocaine and amphetamines, during pregnancy
  • Pre-eclampsia, a condition developed during pregnancy that causes high blood pressure
  • Injuries to the abdominal area
  • Experiencing a ruptured placenta during a previous pregnancy 
  • Multiple births - for example, a pregnancy that involves twins or triplets

However, it should be remembered that placental abruption can affect women even when none of these factors apply. If you are concerned about your potential risk of a ruptured placenta, you should discuss this with your doctor or midwife.

What are the signs and symptoms of a placental abruption?

If a mother experiences any of the following symptoms during pregnancy, it may be a warning sign of placental abruption:

  • Vaginal bleeding, particularly in the case of unexplained heavy bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea 
  • Thirst 
  • Fainting 
  • Blood in the amniotic fluid
  • Frequent contractions
  • Decreased foetal movement 

However, some mothers may experience concealed placental abruption, which are harder to detect because the bleeding becomes trapped between the wall of the womb and the placenta, meaning there is no visible blood loss or vaginal bleeding for the mother to notice. In these cases, the patient should pay close attention to the following symptoms:

  • Back pain
  • Tenderness or pain in the stomach
  • Persistent uterine contractions

If you are worried that you may be experiencing placental abruption, you should contact a medical professional immediately for a follow-up diagnosis. 

What other complications may affect the placenta?

Placental abruption is one of a number of related issues that may arise with the placenta during pregnancy. Another example is low-lying placenta and placenta praevia, two conditions that involve the placenta being situated too close to the cervix or covering it entirely, causing an obstruction when the baby is born. These conditions are also distinguished by vaginal bleeding, so you will need to consult a doctor to make sure that you are correctly diagnosed if you notice this symptom.

Another known complication that can cause severe bleeding is a retained placenta, which occurs when part of the placenta or membranes remain in the womb after the baby is born. This can lead to life-threatening bleeding, and will need to be treated through medication or changing positions to help the womb contract so that the body expels the trapped placenta; failing this, surgical intervention might be needed for manual removal of the retained placenta.

All of these conditions are distinct from each other, despite sharing certain symptoms in common. It is vital for medical professionals to properly assess any patients who are experiencing heavy vaginal bleeding and diagnose the cause as soon as possible, because getting this wrong could result in a failure to provide the right treatment.

If you have been misdiagnosed after experiencing a complication affecting the placenta, you may be able to make a placental abruption claim depending on the circumstances.

Talk to Us

To contact the experts at JMW Solicitors about your ruptured placenta claim, fill in an online form and we'll call you back, or give us a call any time of the day or night on 0345 872 6666. We handle clinical negligence cases on a no win, no fee basis.

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