Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor treats abruptio placenta?

An obstetrician treats abruptio placenta

2. How can I assess severity of vaginal bleeding?
  • Minimal bleeding refers to "spotting" or a few drops of blood
  • Mild bleeding is when you soak less than 1 tampon or pad in more than 3 hours.
  • Moderate bleeding means that you soak more than one tampon or pad every 3 hours.
  • For most women, soaking through 2 or more pads or tampons every hour is considered severe.
  • If you are pregnant, there may be a gush of blood or passage of clot, but if the bleeding stops spontaneously, it is not considered severe.
3. If there is vaginal bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy will I have a miscarriage?

About 25 percent of pregnant women have some form of vaginal bleeding; however, about a half do not miscarry.

4. Is bleeding during the second and third trimester serious?

Bleeding during second or third trimester indicates some underlying problem such as abruptio placenta or placenta previa and needs medical attention

5. What is the prognosis of abruptio placenta?

Prognosis for the baby depends on the gestational age and degree of placental separation. Greater than 50 percent separation is associated with increased risk of fetal death. Maternal outcome depends on amount of blood loss and occurrence of coagulation disorder complicating the condition.

6. What is risk of recurrence of abruption in future pregnancies?

The risk of recurrence of abruption is reported to be 4-12 percent. If a woman suffers from abruption in 2 consecutive pregnancies, the risk of recurrence increases to 25 percent. In severe abruption resulting in the death of the fetus, the risk of a recurrent abruption and fetal death is estimated to be about 7 percent. Pregnancies following previous abruptio placenta should be closely monitored.

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