Placental Abruption

Abruptio placenta (or placental abruption) is the separation of the placenta from its implantation site prior to delivery. This may lead to massive blood loss, although bleeding may be concealed within the uterus up to 20 percent of the time. Placental abruption is classically characterized by the vaginal bleeding, a "rock-hard"

painful uterus, and fetal distress (decrease in fetal heart rate to <100 beats per minute). 5 Maternal coagulopathy may also be present in abruption (Table 103:3). Risk factors for abruption include maternal hypertension, smoking, cocaine use, and trauma.

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