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  • Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

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    Old 09-11-2006, 05:27 PM   #1
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    Question Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    My wife recently gave birth to our first child. After delivering our son the placenta would not come out so the doctor had to remove the placenta manually in several pieces.

    About two weeks later my wife had heavy bleeding and had to have an emergency D&C where it was determined there was a piece of placenta still in her uterus. Because we have high deductibles we now owe several thousand more dollars in medical bills than we would have had without the D&C.

    Here's my question:
    - If a piece of placenta is left inside the uterus after delivery, does this necessarily mean that the doctor made a mistake? Is it possible for placenta to be left behind through no fault of the doctor's?

    {removed|I'd appreciate anyone's input, {removed}. Thank you!

    Last edited by Moderator BAC; 09-12-2006 at 10:01 AM. Reason: This is a PEER support group. Do not ask for medical assistance. Please read and follow our rules. Thank you!

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    Old 09-11-2006, 07:41 PM   #2
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    For my second child, they induced me and the baby came quikly. The doc didn't make it, and when he did arrive he asked about delivery of the placenta. I had not delivered it, and he started ripping it out.I told him it hurt, and he continued. I went home and was bleeding what I thought to be heavy, and just didn't feel right. A few nights later I passed a large piece of tissue ( I assume the rest of placenta), and felt immediate relief. In my case I think if the doc would not have started ripping it out it would have delivered, but I will never know. I hope your wife is recovering well. Probably not much help to you. Good luck
    Mom to DD 14 and DS 11
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    Old 09-11-2006, 10:14 PM   #3
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    I can't answer your legal question, but I can say that your wife is NOT incredibly unlucky. She is incredibly lucky that the left over piece of placenta was found before anything bad happened. An extended family member gave birth, and a week later she was found dead on the floor, she had collapsed with the baby in her arms - due to complications from part of the placenta being left inside of her.


    Old 09-12-2006, 05:18 AM   #4
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    I don't know much about this but from what I do know it's not super unusual for parts of the placenta to remain. That's why the women bleeds for weeks after delivery to expel the rest of everything inside her. And while D&Cs are done after miscarriages, abortions, etc... they are common and obviously used in this case too.
    I don't know if it's the doctors fault here really since every delivery experience is so different, and doctors are not g-ds...they are human too. If it's not a clear cut case, you could end up spending more in legal fees to prove your case. In my opinion, I'd do a lot of research and talk to professional to become educated on the situation. If you want to pursue legal action, I'm sure you'll find a willing lawyer.

    Last edited by liloulou; 09-12-2006 at 05:29 AM.

    Old 09-12-2006, 06:13 PM   #5
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    When I had my son ten years ago (I was 20 years old), my regular doctor happened to be on vacation when I went into labor. I had to have the doctor on call. Well, after I had my son, they make you use the bathroom and I couldn't go for some reason. Then I developed a fever. They thought nothing of it. An hour or so more, after visitors had come and gone, I tried to get up again and use the restroom. As soon as I got up, I lost SO much blood I almost had to have a blood transfusion and I had some shots shoved into my hip (I don't know what they were) to keep me from clotting maybe? The side effects of the shot were terrible. After all of that, the doctor on call, who was VERY RUDE and not comforting at all, had to give me a D & C, manually (he had to go in with his hands ). After making it through, what I thought I was going to die, I asked what happened, they really didn't give me more than an explanation of "this happens to young women". I should have looked into it further and gotten an attorney. I do know, though, that the doctor did NOT remove all of my placenta.

    My only opinion is, if the placent were to be removed naturally by the body, there would be no reason for the doctor to remove it in the first place. Although, I also had a miscarriage, and the hospital sent me home without performing a D & C (on accident) and I naturally expelled everything. Granted, I was only a few weeks pregnant at the time, and it may be different. But ever since a D & C was not performed, I have major abnormal menstrual problems.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

    Old 09-12-2006, 06:52 PM   #6
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    It is not abnormal for remnants of a placenta to remain after a birth. It does happen quite frequently and the age of the patient, number of births, or if the placenta was expelled naturally or had to be manually removed has no bearing on if pieces remain in the uterus. I do understand your frustration with high deductibles and such though and nothing is more worrisome than that. When a doctor removes a placenta manually it's done blindly, of sorts. I'm not saying that they don't make mistakes though so don't get me wrong on that, but from what you posted it doesn't seem that way to me.

    I do hope that everything works out and congratulations on your new baby.

    Old 09-13-2006, 06:50 AM   #7
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    I will tell you this...If you think the dr, did something wrong, then you should hire an attorney or at least go consult with one. Four years ago I went in for a scheduled c section. Since it was scheduled they preformed it two weeks before my actual due date to keep be from going into labor. So I had my baby and every thing seemed ok at first, but the next day my baby developed pneumothorax, or her left lung had collapsed. They had to intubate her and move her to the NICU at TC Thompson Childrens Hospital, where she spent the first two weeks of her life. Now the dr at the children's hospital concluded that this happened to her because her lungs were not mature enough at birth. My ob, could have preformed a test of the amniotic fluid to determine if her lungs were mature enough, a week more in the womb could have made all the difference and my family would not have had to go through such an ordeal. Thankfully, today my baby is a healthy four year old who only has a scar to remind us of what happened, but I always regreated not taking legal action against that dr, who if he had taken a little time, preformed simple test, I could have enjoyed my daughters arrival like I was supposed to, instead of it turning into the nightmare it became.

    Old 09-13-2006, 08:54 AM   #8
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    At the end of the day is legal action really that necessary????

    You now have a healthy wife and child which is far more important than deciding whether legal action should be taken??

    That's just my opinion.

    Old 09-14-2006, 05:27 AM   #9
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    Re: Placenta not completely removed - doctor's mistake?

    Legal action sometimes isnt about how much money you can get out of someone, its about making the other party see the error of their ways. If I had sued my Dr, then maybe that Dr would be more careful, and take every precaution with his future paitents, and in that case, if by taking legal action against him, it prevented even one family from going through what mine went through, then yes it would have been worth it. But thats just my opinion.

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