Placenta Abruption is a potentially serious complication of the Placenta that occurs during Pregnancy.

It occurs when the lining of the placental detaches from the uterus. This happens prior to child birth. Placenta Abruption can also referred to as abruptio placenta

Placental Abruption occurs but less often. But when it does occurs it can be a common cause of both maternal and fetus mortality. There is a high risk for vaginal bleeding during pregnancy with this condition.

It can be seen in less than 1% of pregnancies and most often occurs around 25 weeks.

The most common presenting symptoms is vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and lowering of the blood pressure. Though other symptoms can be seen.

Treatment may include bed rest for a small abruption or early delivery may be required. Meeting with and following your doctor’s recommendations is important.

Most Common Symptoms:

–  Vaginal bleeding
–  Abdominal pain
–  Uterus pain
–  Abdominal Contractions
–  Abdominal cramping
–  Back pain

Potential Causes:

–  Trauma
–  Car Accidents
–  Falls
–  Hypertension
–  Difficulty with bleeding disorders
–  Short umbilical cord  [Unusually short]
–  Smoking
–  Preeclampsia
–  Previous C-Section


–  Ultrasound is the most common form of diagnosis and is very helpful if a procedure is indicated.
–  Physical Exam
–  Blood work may be helpful to rule out Placenta Abruption


–  Fetal distress
–  Premature birth
–  Brain damage for child
–  Severe bleeding for pregnant mother
–  Clotting difficulties for mother
–  Shock for mother


1.) Grade 0 – No symptoms – only finding postpartum
2.) Grade 1 – Vaginal bleeding and some pain – No distress
3.) Grade 2 – Symptoms – No shock for mother – Some fetal distress
4.) Grade 3 – Severe bleeding – Shock is present – Fetal death occurs


1.)  Delivery of the fetus

2.)  Monitoring if no distress and less then 35 weeks

3.)  Blood volume replacement

4.)  Vaginal  birth if allowed

5.)  C-section typically in emergencies

6.)  Close monitoring of both fetus and mother following delivery for several days