How do you diagnose a placental abruption?

Symptoms, Ultrasound. Abruption is a bleed from the placenta; a disruption of either the mother or baby's blood supply. Many causes: trauma, high blood pressure, drugs (cocaine), preterm labor, polyhydramnios. Can be very large or very small, so even US can miss a diagnosis. Symptoms: usually preterm contractions, sometimes vaginal bleed. Fetal monitoring is necessary. Wait, watch; abruption can self-heal sometimes.
Quickly + FHT's. Placental abruption is a true OB emergency as the fetal heart tones (fht's) will drop on monitoring and intervention to save the fetus needs to be immediate.

Related Questions

Radiologists please answer. How do you diagnose placental abruption?

Abruption. The diagnosis of a placental abruption is made through clinical signs and symptoms. It is not usually seen with imaging.
They can't. Abruption is not always seen on ultrasound. Typically it is associated with bleeding, cramping or painful contractions, or significant pain. It's also the diagnosis of exclusion if all other reasons of bleeding are eliminated. Radiologist can usually see a large placental separation, but rarely is this the first sign of an abruption. Ct scans & mris are not used for this purpose. I hope this helps.

What is a placental abruption?

Placenta separating. A placental abruption is when the placenta separates from the uterus resulting in abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. This is an emergency because the blood supply to the baby is compromised. This can occur after a traumatic event like a car accident or domestic violence. It can also occur with high blood pressure, drug use and a variety of other medical conditions.
Placenta detaches. Placental abruption is when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before the baby is born. This happens in only 1% of pregnancies. It can be dangerous as the baby may not get the same amount of oxygen and nutrients if the abruption is large. Patients may or may not have vaginal bleeding. Abruption has been linked to maternal high blood pressure, Cocaine use, abdominal trauma and smoking.
Separation. An abruption is an abrupt separation of the placenta. It is usually caused by severe trauma, smoking, high blood pressure, or twins. Usually women will experience severe pain. They may or may not have bleeding.

What are the tests for placental abruption?

Not many. It is a clinical diagnosys. Unusual abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, uterine contractions. Sometimes if the abruption is severe and ultrasound can see it. The baby can suffer as well showed by a non reassuring fetal strip. Sono finds abruption only in 30% of cases in average.
Ultrasound, monitor. Abruption is a bleed from the placenta; a disruption of either the mother or baby's blood supply. Many causes: trauma, high blood pressure, drugs (cocaine), preterm labor, polyhydramnios. Can be very large or very small, so even US can miss a diagnosis. Symptoms: usually preterm contractions, sometimes vaginal bleed. Fetal monitoring is necessary. Wait, watch; abruption can self-heal sometimes.

What are the symptoms of placental abruption?

Pain and Bleeding. The classic symptoms are abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding, but other symptoms can include uterine contractions (intermittent or continuous) and fetal distress.
Bleeding or None. Placental abruption is when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before the baby is born. This happens in only 1% of pregnancies. Patients may or may not have vaginal bleeding. It can be dangerous as the baby may not get the same amount of oxygen and nutrients if the abruption is large. Abruption has been linked to maternal high blood pressure, Cocaine use, abdominal trauma and smoking.

Can I die from placental abruption if I ignore it?

Yes. You dont want to ignore placenta abruption. It can kill your baby and kill you eventually due to complications related to bleeding.
Yes, baby also. Placental separation (abruption) can decrease blood flow to your infant, compromising it's health. Mild cases can be watched and surveillance provided for your baby. Severe cases can end up with massive bleeding, fetal loss (death), or maternal hemorrhage and its complications which include bleeding to death. Your OB can best tell you your personal risks and what you need to do to stay safe.