The only cure for placental abruption is immediate delivery of the baby. However, this may not be the best solution, especially if your due date is more than a few weeks away.
To help you decide on the best time and method of delivery, your doctor:
- assesses how your body is handling the blood loss. When your body loses a lot of blood, your heart may have difficulty pumping enough blood to your tissues to keep them supplied with oxygen, and your blood volume may get so low that you no longer produce enough urine. This can cause your kidneys to shut down. To monitor the effects of the blood loss, your doctor takes your blood pressure and pulse. A pulse oximeter may also be used to continuously monitor the level of oxygen in your blood. Your doctor may also place a tube (catheter) into your bladder to measure how much urine is being produced.
- places an intravenous (IV) line. Your doctor inserts a needle into a vein in your arm to replenish your fluids. He or she also takes blood samples to check your blood count and to gauge how well your blood is able to clot. If necessary, your doctor administers medication or a blood transfusion.
- performs an ultrasound to make sure your baby is healthy. If the baby looks good and the doctor feels he can wait and watch, your baby's heartbeat will be monitored with a fetal heart monitor.
As long as your body is able to handle the blood loss and your baby's heartbeat is strong, you can wait to deliver. If you are near your due date, however, your doctor may suggest medications to induce labor. If your baby is not doing well, you will need to deliver immediately, usually by cesarean section (C-section). But, if you have disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC-a disruption in the blood's ability to clot) your doctor may delay the C-section until your blood clotting improves.
Preventing Placental Abruption
You can help to prevent placental abruption by following the guidelines for a healthy pregnancy. You should:
- control high blood pressure;
- protect your abdomen from direct trauma; and
- abstain from recreational drug use.