Placental abruption classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun M.D., PhD.

Classification

Abruptions are classified according to severity in the following manner:

  • Grade 0: Asymptomatic and only diagnosed through post partum examination of the placenta.
  • Grade 1: The mother may have vaginal bleeding with mild uterine tenderness or tetany, but there is no distress of mother or fetus.
  • Grade 2: The mother is symptomatic but not in shock. Some evidence of fetal distress can be found with fetal heart rate monitoring.
  • Grade 3: Severe bleeding (which may be occult) leads to maternal shock and fetal death. There may be maternal disseminated intravascular coagulation. Blood may force its way through the uterine wall into the serosa, a condition known as Couvelaire uterus.

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