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Can Placenta Abruptio Result From an Internal Exam?


My daughter-in-law just had a fetal demise yesterday -- and I would like your opinion on this situation

She has had 2 successful pregnancies in the past, this was to be her third. Everything was going along well until last Thursday she went to her gynaecologist for an internal exam and immediately after she began feeling ill -- her symptoms sounded to me like an infection (nausea, lack of energy, cramping). On Wednesday morning (yesterday morning) she had such low energy she could barely move and this prompted her and her husband to go to the hospital. Immediately on reaching the hospital they realized that the baby's pulse was extremely low and performed an emergency C-section. Unfortunately they could not save the baby. They were told that even if they did save the baby, because of the loss of oxygen she would have been brain damaged permanently.

Ultimately they found that this was caused by a placental abruption. We're wondering if the internal exam could have caused this, either by physical trauma or by infection. It sounds like too much of a coincidence to me that suddenly after the internal she began to feel very ill.

Thank you
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replied November 29th, 2017
Hi, and thanks for your query on eHealth forum!

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter-in-law. If she had a really low lying placenta, then yes, internal examination can cause the placenta to break contact with the uterus. However, a low lying placenta would have been caught on previous ultarsounds.

It is very difficult to say what triggered this unfortunate event. If you strongly feel there was some negligence, then you can consult a medico-legal expert. It is difficult to give this type of advice without reviewing the complete case.

Please consult your healthcare provider for further guidance. This reply to your query is just for education and counseling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit and treatment by a doctor who can examine you. Hope this helped you in making an informed decision about your health. Take care!

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