Methods To Diagnose Placental Abruption

Placental Abruption

Placental Abruption Placenta is an organ that develops during the earliest phase of the pregnancy. It attaches itself to the uterus on one side and to the naval of the baby on the other. Placenta supplies the baby with oxygen and nutrients from its mother until the birth. Placental abruption is said to have occurred where placenta separates itself from uterus before the birth of the baby.

Both Partial and complete placenta abruption are very serious as they deprive baby of the basic supplies of life. The common symptoms of placental abruption are vaginal bleeding, frequent contractions and uterine tenderness. This complication is rare and happens in 1 in 100 pregnancies. There are various methods of diagnosing placental abruptions ones the pregnant woman shows the aforementioned symptoms.

Placental Abruption Diagnosis

Physical Examination And Medical history

The doctor may examine the belly and abdominal area of the patient reporting the symptoms of placental abruption. Doctor will normally look for abnormal size of the uterus for that particular gestation period. Also tenderness of the belly is an indication of this condition. Medical history of the patient is also investigated where she might have had similar episode earlier.

Foetal  Monitoring

In foetal monitoring, a monitor is attached to the belly of the mother. It is like a belt with a receptor. With this receptor the heartbeat and movement of the foetus is monitored for the length of time that the doctor may consider appropriate.

Foetal  Monitoring

The reaction to sound is also checked. Low or no reaction, abrupt heart beat and very few to no movements can suggest something amiss.


An ultrasound scan throws high frequency sound waves. These sound waves are deflected back by the walls and obstructions hereby creating a visual. The ultrasound may be done externally or internally. For external scan the ultrasound is done by dragging the receptor on the belly whereas in internal scan it is inserted through vaginal passage. Since ultrasound scan creates a visual it is a preferred way of diagnosing placental abruption however at times even this scan may prove useless for diagnosing this condition.

Also Read

How To Spot Signs Of Placental Abruption
How To Treat Placenta Previa
Treatments For Different Types Of Placenta Previa
Placenta Previa Overview, Signs And Complication

Blood And Lab Test

The hb (Haemoglobin count) and HCD (human chorionic gonadotropin) are the standard tests that patient may be asked to take.

blood test

The patient if suffering from placental abruption, will show low haemoglobin count and the HCD will also be higher or lower than the normal levels.

Pathological examination

This is the most conclusive test for diagnosing placental abruption. But it can only take place after the delivery or preterm birth of the baby. In other more unfortunate cases, after the pregnancy is terminated. The placental tissues are examined in this method to determine this condition. Existence of lesions on the placenta, clots, infarctions and retroplacental haemorrhage may indicate placental abruption. The tests may include microscopic examination and Histopathological evaluation as well.

The placenta can not be reattached and therefore the treatment depends on the extent of the rupture. If the placenta is mildly ruptured then after a few days of monitoring, the carrying woman will be discharged from hospital to take rest at home. However, if the detachment is major then the doctors may either go for immediate delivery or caesarean section.

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