Retained Placenta Explained by Birth Injury Lawyer in Portland, OR

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What is a Retained Placenta?  Understanding What it is and Your Rights


While most people think of the birth of a baby being the only thing that is birthed during the labor and delivery of a baby, after the baby is birthed the placenta is then delivered. This is referred to as the third stage of labor. While for most moms the placenta comes out rather quickly, for others it may not come out immediately on its own. In cases like this, it is concerned a retained placenta. Placenta retention can be very dangerous for the mother if not addressed appropriately and in a timely fashion. Our birth injury lawyer in Portland, OR explains.


What Does the Term Retained Placenta Mean?


While the placenta is typically expelled from the uterus naturally and quite quickly after the delivery of the baby, there are times when the placenta remains inside the uterus and fails to be delivered. While this is fairly uncommon (approximately 2% of all deliveries), it can lead to serious complications. In the case of the delivery of the placenta, if it has not been delivered within 30 minutes after the delivery of a baby, it is considered a retained placenta. 


Retained Placentas Classified


There are many different types of retained placentas. Some cause more significant risks that others. There are three different classifications of retained placentas. These include the following:


  • Trapped placenta – This occurs when the placenta does not leave the uterus. The placenta does detach from the wall of the uterus but still remains within the uterus. This is typically caused by the cervix closing before the placenta is delivered
  • Placenta Adherens – This is the most commonly occurring type of retained placenta and is due to the contractions being too weak to expel the placenta. In this case, the placenta remains somewhat attached to the uterine wall
  • Placenta Accretas – This is often can be quite serious, as it can cause the delivery to be difficult and often causes severe bleeding. Placenta accreta actually causes retained placenta and is due to the placenta attaching too deeply in the wall of the uterus. In cases of placenta accreta, the placenta typically needs to be surgically detached or a hysterectomy needs to be performed

Complications of Retained Placenta


Complications of retention of a placenta include the following:


  • Need for surgical removal of the retained placenta
  • Uterine or genital tract damage
  • Severe internal bleeding or hemorrhaging
  • Infection
  • Sepsis
  • Need for hysterectomy in some cases


These are just a few of the many potential complications of retained placenta.


How Can Retained Placenta Complications be Due to Medical Malpractice?


While retention of a placenta is not necessarily caused by medical malpractice, improper management leading to complications is considered medical malpractice. Examples of medical malpractice in relation to retention of a placenta complications include the following:


  • Failing to recognize that not all of the placenta was removed
  • Failing to initiate oxytocin to initiate contractions to expel the placenta
  • Failing to perform an ultrasound to diagnose retained placenta
  • Failing to remove the placenta due to poor techniques used during the labor and delivery
  • Delay in identifying retained placenta, leading to bleeding, infection or other serious complications

Retained Placenta Due to Medical Malpractice in Oregon


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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