Birth Injury Attorneys Advocating for Clients Nationwide in Cases Involving Postpartum Hemorrhage
The time following the birth of your new child should be a joyous time. However, one to five percent of women will experience a postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) after giving birth. PPH can cause the mother a significant amount of distress and may be fatal. If you or a loved one have experienced PPH, you may have questions about your legal options. Below our attorneys discuss PPH and provide additional resources.
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Understanding Postpartum Hemorrhage
Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) occurs when a woman has excessive bleeding after childbirth. It is a serious condition. If not detected or treated promptly, PPH puts the mother’s life in jeopardy. Postpartum hemorrhage is one of the leading causes of maternal morbidity and maternal death.
Postpartum hemorrhage is determined by blood loss greater than:
- 500ml following a vaginal delivery
- 1,000ml of blood loss after a Cesarean section
- 1,000ml of blood in 24 consecutive hours during or following birth
What Factors Increase a Woman’s Risk for Postpartum Hemorrhage?
There are several risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage. These risk factors include:
- Caesarean section or prior C-section
- Multiple gestation, or multiple pregnancy
- Pitocin administration
- Prolonged labor
- Vacuum or forceps delivery
- Large baby (macrosomia)
- Previous postpartum hemorrhage
- Prior uterine surgery
- Placenta accreta
- Placenta previa
- General anesthesia
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Cervical lacerations
If any of these risk factors are present, medical professionals should be prepared in advance to treat postpartum hemorrhage should it occur. They should also closely monitor the mother for signs of hemorrhage. Failure to detect, timely respond, and/or treat postpartum hemorrhage could result in serious injury or death to the mother.
What Causes Postpartum Hemorrhage?
Uterine atony, a condition in which the uterus fails to contract following the delivery of the placenta, accounts for most cases of maternal hemorrhage. Other causes of postpartum hemorrhaging include:
- Uterine inversion
- Uterine rupture
- Clotting disorders
- Lacerations of the birth canal due to forceps or vacuum delivery
How Postpartum Hemorrhage is Treated
To treat the hemorrhage, a medical professional may:
- Massage the uterus
- Administer Medications
- Repair Lacerations
- Place Vaginal/Uterine packing
- Administer Blood products
- Perform procedure to stop blood flow to the uterus
- Perform an Emergency hysterectomy
If PPH is not treated immediately and appropriately, the result may lead to long term health problems and/or maternal death.
Did You or a Loved One Suffer Injury or Death Due to Postpartum Hemorrhaging?
If you suspect your loved one suffered injury or died due to postpartum hemorrhaging, consider discussing your situation with our birth injury lawyers.