Insufficient Placenta Complications
Dedicated Lawyers for those Injured by Placental Insufficiency Malpractice in New Jersey
The placenta is a vital temporary organ that feeds a developing baby. Through it, a growing baby receives nutrition and oxygen, the two main sources of survival. This organ that attaches to the lining of the uterus grows to accommodate the growing fetus and is the gateway from mother to baby. When something happens to the placenta, particularly if it does not grow properly, is abnormal or damaged, or the blood flow becomes blocked or reduced by constricted uterine blood vessels or other obstructions, the baby does not receive enough life support to thrive or, in some cases, survive. The danger to the growing fetus is serious in these situations. A damaged placenta, or one that fails to develop appropriately, is known as placental insufficiency. Further, poor placental perfusion can cause prematurity, low birth weight and severe birth injuries, so it is important that the conditions are diagnosed early.
Healthcare professionals who fail to recognize and treat placental perfusion or insufficiency, causing mother and baby complications that result in lingering health issues, severe complications, or death, may be liable for medical malpractice. If your doctor or healthcare team made avoidable mistakes with an insufficient placenta, or otherwise acted with substandard medical practice that left you and your baby injured, speak to one of our seasoned pregnancy and birth complications attorneys about your circumstances. You deserve compensation for the wrongs committed by professionals who must offer you best practices, not jeopardize your health and that of our child by inadequately addressing placental insufficiency or even failing to identify a condition like this in the first place. If liable, they owe you the financial support you will need to help you and your baby live the best available lives. Contact 866-708-8617 or send us a message for a free case review and personalized consultation.
The Placenta’s Function in Pregnancy
As an unborn child, the fetus relies on a healthy mother and pregnancy from conception to birth, through all the developmental stages in the womb. In the beginning, the placenta forms near the fertilized egg’s implantation as soon as the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. It attaches the fetus to the mother by the umbilical cord, which connects the placenta to the fetus’s belly. The growing fetus receives nutrients and oxygen from the placenta through its mother’s bloodstream and the placenta filters the blood as it travels back and forth between mother and child, keeping the blood of each separate. The placenta not only brings oxygen to the baby but carries away waste, like carbon dioxide, that is removed by the mother. This powerful organ also produces hormones and protects the fetus from infection and harmful microbes. By the time of delivery, the placenta can weigh up to two pounds. In the last stage of labor, the placenta is delivered shortly after the baby.
Placental Insufficiency Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment
During pregnancy, the placenta may have restricted blood flow, known as placental perfusion, resulting in the placenta not doing its job fully or not adapting to the growing needs of the fetus. When the placenta is abnormal or dysfunctional, it is insufficient for the job of keeping the fetus thriving. The causes of placental insufficiency may be the mother’s blood disorder, medical history, vascular dysfunction, or lifestyle choices. For instance, diabetes, hypertension, blood clotting problems, anemia, smoking, and substance abuse can affect the growth and development of the placenta. This crucial element of a healthy pregnancy can also be faulty if it does not properly attach to the walls of the uterus or separates from it, as in the case of placental abruption.
The condition is hard to detect, as placental insufficiency has no obvious symptoms. The mother may find the fetus does not move much or her uterus is small compared to her previous pregnancies, unless the placenta has detached, in which case, bleeding and contractions may occur. As with all pregnancy and birth-related conditions, better outcomes for baby and mother are associated with proper prenatal care and early diagnosis. Diagnostic tests to detect the condition include ultrasounds to measure the size of the placenta and the fetus, alpha-fetoprotein levels in maternal blood, and a fetal non-stress test to measure fetal heart rate and contractions.
After diagnosis, treatment consists of stabilizing the underlying conditions or symptoms, like diabetes and hypertension. A doctor may further order bed rest, a referral to a high-risk pregnancy specialist, additional doctor visits, and self-monitoring of high blood pressure. Journaling the baby’s movements may also be helpful to the treating physician to track the effects of the condition, which may trigger medical decisions to prepare for extending the pregnancy and delaying premature birth. If premature birth is likely, steroid injections may be administered to develop the baby’s lungs more rapidly. In risky situations, hospitalization may be required for uncontrolled preeclampsia and severely restricted fetal growth.
Complications and Injuries from Placental Insufficiency
The severe complications with insufficient placenta are clear and must be guarded against at all costs. Some of the possible maternal complications with placental insufficiency and perfusion include:
- High blood pressure or preeclampsia
- Placental abruption
- Preterm birth
Swollen hands, headaches, and high blood pressure are signs of preeclampsia. And if the mother already has hypertension or diabetes prior to birth, she is even more at risk for complications.
For the fetus, the degree of health problems depends on when placental insufficiency occurs, the earlier being the more severe. At birth, the baby risks:
- Hypoxia (lack of oxygen)
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive deficits
- Stillbirth or newborn death
- High red blood cell count but low body temperature
- Low blood sugar
- Inadequate calcium levels
Contact NJ Placental Insufficiency Negligence Attorneys
When dealing with a damaged or lacking placenta, there are no medications or procedures to fix the problem. Placental insufficiency can only be managed, though the best outcome is tied to early diagnosis, at between 12 and 20 weeks, and prenatal care to improve the baby’s chances of growing normally and reducing birth complications. Conversely, if your ob-gyn or other healthcare professional missed the diagnosis early on in your pregnancy, they may have negligently caused you or your baby harm. By not taking steps to protect you, prolonging your pregnancy, and giving your baby the most promising chances of a healthy life, negligent doctors fail to uphold their critical role and responsibility. If your family has been forced to cope with complications and permanent conditions due to malpractice with placental insufficiency, find out what you can do by consulting with a New Jersey lawyer today. You are able to access informed legal guidance and assistance anytime by simply contacting 866-708-8617.
- Placental Insufficiency, Wardinger JE, Ambati S.
- Placental Insufficiency and Fetal Growth Restriction, Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of India