The diagnosis of placental abruption is usually based upon your symptoms. Typically, an ultrasound is performed in order to view the placenta and to determine if there is any blood in the uterus. This ultrasound can also determine the health of your baby.
Depending upon your symptoms and your ultrasound, you may be diagnosed with one of three grades of placental abruption:
- Grade 1: little bleeding, no fetal distress
- Grade 2: mild to moderate bleeding, contractions, and distressed fetal heart rate
- Grade 3: moderate to severe bleeding or hidden bleeding, abdominal pain, and severe contractions
Complications Associated with Placental Abruption
Placental abruption can be quite serious, especially in cases where the placenta has detached completed or there is a large amount of bleeding.
- uncontrolled blood loss
- formation of blood clots
- premature birth
- postpartum hemorrhaging
Treatment for Placental Abruption
Unfortunately, there is no cure for placental abruption. There is no way to reattach the placenta or to stop the placenta from continuing to detach.
Treatment is focused on maintaining the health of mother and baby. Depending on how severe your abruption is, treatment procedures will vary.
If your abruption is mild and you have little bleeding, it is likely that you will be kept in hospital so that you can be monitored. As long as your baby does not appear to be stressed, you may be allowed to continue with the pregnancy. If you are close to term though, labor will probably be induced.
If you have a severe abruption or profuse bleeding, it is likely your baby will be delivered via cesarean section. If you are not yet 36 weeks pregnant, your baby may be given corticosteroids before delivery, in order to help develop her lungs and other organs.
This will give her a much better chance at surviving early birth. Sometimes, if blood loss is severe, a transfusion is given.