Placental Abruption

Placental Abruption is a topic covered in the Ob/Gyn Hospitalists' Core Competencies.

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Placental abruption is defined as complete (total) or partial separation of the placenta from its implantation site before delivery. It occurs in approximately 1 in 100 deliveries.[1] Placental abruption is the most common cause of severe consumptive coagulopathy in pregnancy and can lead to significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. The most common presenting symptoms are abdominal pain and contractions, but these are nonspecific. Vaginal bleeding is a common sign, but concealed hemorrhage occurs in some cases and can lead to delayed diagnosis. Ultrasonography of the placenta can be diagnostic, but clinical abruption can be present in the absence of findings on ultrasonography. A fetal heart rate abnormality suggestive of placental insufficiency in association with abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or frequent contractions should prompt urgent evaluation.[2] Through prompt recognition and treatment, OB/GYN hospitalists can improve maternal and fetal outcomes related to placental abruption.

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Placental abruption is defined as complete (total) or partial separation of the placenta from its implantation site before delivery. It occurs in approximately 1 in 100 deliveries.[1] Placental abruption is the most common cause of severe consumptive coagulopathy in pregnancy and can lead to significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. The most common presenting symptoms are abdominal pain and contractions, but these are nonspecific. Vaginal bleeding is a common sign, but concealed hemorrhage occurs in some cases and can lead to delayed diagnosis. Ultrasonography of the placenta can be diagnostic, but clinical abruption can be present in the absence of findings on ultrasonography. A fetal heart rate abnormality suggestive of placental insufficiency in association with abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or frequent contractions should prompt urgent evaluation.[2] Through prompt recognition and treatment, OB/GYN hospitalists can improve maternal and fetal outcomes related to placental abruption.

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Last updated: August 27, 2021