Placenta Previa Attorneys in New Jersey
NJ Lawyers Representing Victims of Placenta Previa Malpractice and Birth Injuries
The last thing you want in your pregnancy is a potential problem that may jeopardize successful delivery of your baby, but unfortunately, complications can and do occur. One such complication is placenta previa, which is a low-lying placenta that partially or entirely covers the cervix. Although relatively rare, only 0.5% of pregnancies are afflicted with the condition, placenta previa can be very dangerous. As such, a physician must make the right call at the right time to avoid life-long injuries, even death, to their patients with placenta previa. Making the wrong decision or making it too late is not an option, as the stakes are simply too high. While the condition may be unavoidable, the best possible outcome should not be precluded by an obstetrician’s lack of education or competency when handling a complex pregnancy.
If a doctor or another medical professional failed to diagnose or mismanaged your placenta previa, causing you or your baby avoidable harm and suffering, then you should seriously consider seeking professional guidance from an experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyer. Contact Fronzuto Law Group now at (973)-435-4551 to review your case with an attorney free of charge. We understand that medical negligence with birth-related matters like placenta previa can cause immeasurable harm to you or your child, and legal action may provide highly necessary compensation for your immediate and long-term care, as well as undue emotional and physical injuries.
Understanding Placenta Previa
Many pregnancies begin with placentas located near the cervix. Early in pregnancy, it is not altogether rare for the placenta, which connects the baby to its food and oxygen source from the mother, to grow low in the womb. However, as the pregnancy progresses and the placenta grows toward the end of the pregnancy, it rises to the top of the womb. The purpose of this movement is to ensure that the placenta is not in the way of the cervix, thus allowing for the baby to exit the womb. If the cervix, which serves at the gateway to the birth canal, is partially or wholly obstructed at time of delivery, the mother and baby are at increased risk for injuries and complications.
The risk to mother and baby when placenta previa occurs is dependent upon the degree of cervical coverage, as the condition can range from slight to severe. Specifically, it may be marginal, when the placenta is close to the cervix; partial, when the placenta is partially covering the cervix; or total, when placenta is completely obstructing the path for delivery through the birth canal.
What are the Risk Factors for Placenta Previa?
Women prone to placenta previa include those who have:
- Abnormal uterine shapes
- Surgical scars affecting the uterus
- Uterine tumors
- Multiple pregnancy
- Specific habits and lifestyle choices, like tobacco or cocaine use.
In addition, women who have had fertility treatments, prior c-sections, or previous births are also more likely to develop the condition, as are older women (advanced maternal age), women pregnant with boys, and women of color.
Placenta Previa Symptoms and Diagnosis
When dealing with placenta previa, the symptoms are notable. If a pregnant woman reports painless, bright red bleeding after 20 weeks of pregnancy, her obstetrician should suspect several problems, one of which is placenta previa. The bleeding may sometimes be accompanied by cramping or contractions, and back pressure. To diagnose the condition, a physician, aside from taking a family history and physically examining the patient, typically orders a transvaginal ultrasound to view the internal organs and the position of the placenta.
What is the Treatment for Placenta Previa?
Once placenta previa has been diagnosed, the treating physician must map out a careful course of care. Upon identifying that the condition exists, a doctor may continue monitoring with ultrasounds, recommend bed rest, suggest early delivery, order a cesarean delivery, or perform a blood transfusion if the patient suffers too much blood loss. The treatment course considerations include multiple factors, such as the number of weeks into the pregnancy that a woman has reached, the amount of bleeding, the baby’s position, and the general health of the baby. If there is little bleeding, bedrest and avoiding sex and exercise may be the recommendation. Conversely, if the pregnant woman experiencing too much bleeding, early delivery and a c-section might be the only options.
Medical Malpractice with Placenta Previa and Complications
Planning for the appropriate delivery, and taking extensive precautions to protect the baby and the woman during birth, is the means by which to ensure optimal survival chances for both when placenta previa occurs. While some late term bleeding is normal, hemorrhaging is a complication of placenta previa, along with placental detachment from the uterus, slow growth of the fetus, premature delivery, and serious birth injuries. The treatment goal is to manage the bleeding and to get the pregnancy as advanced toward the due date as possible to avoid preterm delivery, which threatens the health of the baby. However, hemorrhaging during delivery is a severe risk also.
Profuse bleeding occurs when blood vessels connecting the placenta to the uterus rupture, endangering the lives of the child and the mother. Most women with moderate to severe placenta previa that does not resolve prior to labor should undergo delivery by cesarean to avoid profuse bleeding. In fact, if medical professionals allow a vaginal birth to proceed with moderate to severe placenta previa, they may be committing malpractice, as the risk of stroke with excessive bleeding is known. Just as dangerous, however, is when a doctor fails to diagnose the condition in the first place, does not order the appropriate tests after the patient reports bleeding, or does not carefully monitor and judiciously balance the risks and benefits of allowing the pregnancy to continue against early delivery.
Certainly, c-section is the standard practice for this condition, and sometimes a hysterectomy is necessary as well. A dangerous condition associated with placenta previa, called placenta accreta, occurs when the placenta grows into the womb and thus, cannot be detached at delivery. When this situation manifests, it can cause uncontrollable bleeding, and requires a hysterectomy and cesarean birth to save the mother’s life.
On the other hand, dangers to the baby when the mother has placenta previa include: respiratory distress syndrome and other breathing problems, cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and other forms of infant brain damage due to loss of blood and oxygen to the brain. If any of these conditions or injuries occurs as a result of medical malpractice with placenta previa, victims and their loved ones may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Have a New Jersey Placenta Previa Malpractice Lawyer Fighting for You
Considering all of the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy when affected by placenta previa is not just recommended, it is necessary to protect your life and the life of your baby. If a doctor, hospital, or medical facility fails to fulfill this critical responsibility, they can be held accountable, and our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to successfully handle your claim. To discuss your case of medical malpractice with placenta previa in New Jersey, call Fronzuto Law Group today at (973)-435-4551. You can also request a free consultation and complimentary case review by filling out our accessible online form.
Additional Information & Resources:
- Placenta Previa, Cedars-Sinai
- Placenta previa, MedlinePlus
- Placenta previa symptoms/causes, MayoClinic