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Rare type of pregnancy needs close monitoring if carried to term

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2017 | Blog

Some common minor birth complications resolve quickly with little to no medical intervention, e.g., jaundice in newborns and cranial and facial bruising after a forceps delivery.

The danger of Cesarean scar pregnancies

But there are much rarer complications like Cesarean scar pregnancies (CSPs) that can be life-threatening to the mother and embryo. With CSP, women who previously gave birth via C-section have subsequent pregnancies where the embryonic sac attaches itself to the inner scar tissue. Of course, that is a much more tenuous connection to the mother’s life-force than an embryo developing within the relative safety of its mother’s womb.

But that’s far from the only danger. Women who undergo these pregnancies are at a much greater risk of developing a potentially fatal medical condition, placenta accreta. Doctors sometimes refer to it as “morbidly adherent placenta.” In layman’s terms, it means that instead of having the placenta expelled in the first hour after the birth, the tissues take hold inside the walls of the mother’s uterus. As stated by the the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, failing to expel all of the placenta shortly after giving birth can cause the mother to bleed to death.

Rare doesn’t mean “never”

Fortunately, only about one pregnancy out of every 1,800- 2,500 is a CSP. but in one medical anomaly, a woman had five CSP pregnancies in succession.

Part of the reason might be the uptick in the C-section rate over the past half-century in the United States. Back in 1970, just 5 percent of babies were born by C-section, By 2015, the rate had jumped up to 32 percent. Obviously, more C-sections create more scarring, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of the mother developing a CSP.

Women who potentially may be at risk of these types of risky pregnancies require frequent and thorough monitoring by their obstetricians. In last month’s Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology journal, the author reported that the aforementioned mother had two healthy infants born by C-section and went on to get pregnant four more times. All were CSPs, and were subsequently terminated.

“There was a great concern that these pregnancies were extremely risky and could even be life-threatening,” one New York City maternal-fetal medicine specialist and OB/GYN said.

When she became pregnant yet again and was diagnosed with the same condition, she refused to terminate. Despite many very serious consequences, she was able to deliver a healthy infant at 34 weeks. Following that C-section, she had an immediate hysterectomy.

If you were improperly monitored during a high-risk pregnancy and you or your baby suffered injuries or damages as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to find justice and compensation by filing a malpractice lawsuit in the Kentucky courts.

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