Postpartum Hemorrhaging

What is Postpartum Hemorrhage?

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is hemorrhage after delivery marked by blood loss of more than 500 cc after a vaginal delivery or 1000cc of blood loss following a C-section. Most maternal deaths during delivery happen due to PPH. Any mother who carries a pregnancy past 20 weeks gestation has chances of developing PPH.

If giving birth resulted in postpartum hemorrhaging or bleeding after childbirth that was not treated properly, or if you've lost a loved one as a result, the birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help.

Call 315-479-9000 now for a free consultation.

Causes & Risk Factors:

Following are the risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage:

  • Failure to progress during labor
  • Forcep or vacuum extraction
  • Hypertensive disorders in the baby
  • Lacerations, induced labor
  • Large size of the baby
  • Placenta accreta
  • Retained placenta of the mother
  • Use of pitocin

The frequent causes of PPH are known as the "four T's": Tone, Trauma, Tissue and Thrombin.

  • Tone or uterine atony is when the inability of the uterus to contract or tighten up causing nonstop bleeding. A retained placenta or an infection can be the most common reason of uterine atony.
  • Trauma to the cervix, clitoris, labia, uterus, or vagina, can cause considerable bleeding due to the high amount blood supply in those areas.
  • Tissue or the retention of the placenta or other products of conception can hold back the uterus from contracting and lead to constant bleeding.
  • Thrombin or a bleeding disorder is the inability of blood to clot after childbirth.

Standard of Care and Prognosis

Close monitoring is the best route for PPH. The mother's condition, skin color, blood pressure, blood loss, uterine size and tone are closely assessed. The diagnosis of PPH should be made timely to avoid maternal death.

If medical staff suspects that a woman's uterus doesn't tighten up after delivery, they may try to massage it to stimulate contraction. If that doesn't work then intravenous administration of Misoprostol, Oxytocin or Pitocin is made to stop the blood loss. If the bleeding still goes on, then the mother is given fluids and blood through IV.

If the blood report of the mother indicates a clotting disorder, there may be an underlying condition like abruption placenta, amniotic fluid embolus, fatty liver of pregnancy, HELLP syndrome, sepsis or infection which should be detected immediately to avoid oxygen deprivation and organ damage in the mother.

If uterine massage and drug administration doesn't stop bleeding, a surgery to conduct a uterine artery ligation, internal iliac artery ligation, ovarian artery ligation, or hysterectomy might be required to stop the bleeding.

Medical Malpractice and Birth Injury Lawsuit

Sometimes doctors are negligent in causing postpartum hemorrhaging. Whether the medical provider was negligent or not in causing the injury, they have a duty to promptly identify and treat the origin of the bleeding. A delay in diagnosis and treatment of PPH can result in brain damage, hypoxia, organ failure, shock, or death of the mother.

If you or a loved one developed postpartum hemorrhaging or bleeding after childbirth that was not treated properly, please call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers at 315-479-9000 for a free consultation. You will never be responsible for legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for you.