Placenta Left In After Birth Negligence Claims Guide – Retained Placenta Compensation How Much Could I Receive? – What To Do?

By Joanne Jeffries. Last Updated 28th September 2021. Welcome to our guide on retained placenta medical negligence compensation claims.

This guide explains everything of significance regarding placenta negligence claims, including placenta left in after birth. Several things could go wrong during childbirth, and one of them could be a retaining of the placenta. This could cause several problems for the mother, such as severe blood loss and infection. It could even lead to life-altering complications. If you have suffered a retained placenta from medical negligence, this could be because the healthcare professionals looking after you may not have noticed or properly checked that the placenta has been delivered fully – and it could be referred to as a missed retained placenta. If this is the case, you could consider making a medical negligence claim.

Retained placenta medical negligence claim

Within the guide below, we explain what retained placentas after birth are, and we answer relevant questions such as

  • Retained placentas – who is at fault?
  • Can I claim retained placentas?
  • Is a retained placenta medical negligence?
  • What is the personal injury claims time limit for clinical negligence?
  • And more….

We will also take you through our service, advising on finding a personal injury lawyer to take on your case, as well as the no win no fee payment option that could be a good choice for you. If you’d like to discuss any part of this guide with us, or you wish to go about pursuing a No Win No Fee compensation claim 0800 073 8801 is the number to call.

Select A Section

A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Retained Placenta

Giving birth could be quite complicated, and several known potential complications could cause harm to mother and/or baby. One such complication could be a retained placentas. This guide deals with medical malpractice for such a condition, which is where, through negligence, the placenta had not been delivered correctly, and the mother suffers unnecessarily. This could be for cases of completely missed retained placenta or partially retained placenta.

So, how do you tell if you have suffered such a retention that could have been avoided, and what could you do about it? More specifically, could you potentially file any medical negligence compensation claims?

If you have suffered this type of injury, this should have been treated extremely quickly, as the placenta should be delivered after birth and checked thoroughly to ensure that no part was missing. The placenta has a distinct appearance, and it should be noticed immediately that it is not complete. However, there could be cases in which it was thought that the placenta had been delivered when it hadn’t, for example, a miscommunication in the delivery room. Or, the placenta may not have been checked thoroughly enough to know whether there was any part of it missing. Hence a situation such as a placenta being retained in the uterus.

It is fair to say even a small part of the placenta that remains within the uterus after birth could have the potential to make someone extremely ill. If you have suffered retention of the placenta due to medical negligence because the correct checks have not been made, it may be possible for you to make a medical negligence claim.

A personal injury solicitor could help you claim poor management of such a condition if the mistake led to you suffering severe bleeding and/or infection. You could claim NHS negligence if this happened in an NHS hospital or privately if you were treated in a private hospital.

Within the body of this guide, you could learn more about retained placentas, including retained placenta symptoms, whether you need a retained placenta operation, as well as when this condition could be classed as medical negligence. To find out more about such medical negligence compensation claims, carry on reading our guide. 

What Is The Main Function Of The Placenta?

The placenta is an organ. It attaches to the side of the womb when you are pregnant and keeps a baby’s supply of blood separate from your own. Still, it also provides a link between the two supplies so that it could carry nutrients and oxygen to your baby, and carry waste products away to your bloodstream so that your body can dispose of them. It provides hormones to help the baby develop and grow and protects your baby from some sources of infection. In addition to all this, it also passes some antibodies to the baby from its mother so that the baby has some immunity for a few months after birth. All of this is worth knowing ahead of any retained placenta claims.

What Are Retained Placentas?

When you have given birth, you will have contractions afterwards to push the placenta from your body. A midwife would offer you medicine that has been designed to make these contractions happen to help the placenta come out. This medication should make the womb contract so that your placenta can then come away from the wall of the womb. It could help to prevent heavy bleeding that could occur in some people.

Alternatively, you may refuse this medication and try naturally to deliver the placenta. This does have some risks of blood loss, which should be explained to you. Your midwife should check the placenta and the membranes after birth to make sure nothing is left behind.

If you have Caesarean, then the placenta would need to be still delivered, but surgically.

Retention of the placenta means that some or all of the placenta was somehow not completely removed from the womb, either naturally or surgically. This can cause blood loss and/or infection. And also consider situations of the placenta left in after birth.

What Types Of Retained Placenta Are There?

The main types of retained placentas are:

Placenta Adherens

This occurs when the mother’s womb does not contract sufficiently to allow the placenta to be delivered. The placenta may stay loosely attached to the womb.

Trapped Placenta

This occurs if the placenta does detach from the wall of the womb but gets trapped behind the cervix.

Placenta Accreta

This occurs if the placenta, or part of it, becomes embedded deeply inside the womb.

Placenta Percreta

This occurs if the placenta grows through the womb wall.

Please note that not all placentas that remain within the womb will be the result of medical negligence. To qualify for medical negligence compensation, it must be proven that the medical team who was looking after you through negligence did not deliver the placenta correctly. As a consequence, you suffered unnecessarily. Hence you being able to file placenta negligence claims then.

Why Do Retained Placentas Happen?

Retained placentas happen for several reasons – it could be natural, due to the uterus not contracting well enough or because the placenta has grown in a certain manner, or it could be because a mistake was made or through medical negligence. In either method of birth, the placenta should be checked by a medical professional such as a midwife or doctor to ensure that it has completely been removed from the body.

It is the responsibility of the medical staff that are taking care of you to ensure that the placenta is fully delivered. They would be aware of all of the risks that could be present should your placenta not be delivered completely, and if they do not follow the required procedures for delivering and checking the placenta, or they fail to act quickly enough once the condition has been spotted. You could look into whether it would be possible for you to launch a medical negligence claim.

Groups With A Higher Retained Placenta Risk

While retained placentas cannot be predicted, certain groups may be considered at higher risk of having a placenta retained And these people could be more likely to file medical negligence compensation claims eventually.

People with a higher risk could be:

  • Those who have premature babies.  The placenta is created to stay in the place it grows for 40 weeks, and if the baby is born earlier, the placenta may not be ready to come away. Also, those having a baby for the first time are considered more at risk.
  • Those who have been given syntocin (a drug to induce or speed up labour) for a long period of time could also be considered at risk.
  • Mothers over 30 are also considered at risk.
  • There is also a higher chance of retained placenta after stillbirth or retained placenta after miscarriage.
  • There is also thought to be a bigger risk in patients who have had a previous caesarean section or other surgery to the womb. This is because this could affect the way the placenta grows in future pregnancies.

Retained Placenta Symptoms

Of course, the most apparent way to tell whether you have a placenta that is retained would be that the placenta was inspected and found not to be complete. The other symptoms could vary from patient to patient. Often, symptoms could present around a day after delivery. These could include:

  • Fever
  • Discharge (Foul smelling and containing tissue)
  • Pain that does not go away
  • Bleeding (heavy) that does not stop

If your doctor or midwife has failed to spot the signs you have this condition, medical negligence claims could arise.

How Is A Retained Placenta Diagnosed?

Diagnosis often involves inspection of the placenta once it has left your body. If it is not diagnosed at this point and suspicion arises later on, an ultrasound of the uterus would be required. If there are any parts of placenta remaining, then you would need to be treated urgently to avoid complications. A retained placenta blood clot or retained placenta bleeding could be dangerous, and this is why you could need to be treated straight away. If you were not treated quickly and your condition became worse, then you may be eligible to claim damages if you have suffered avoidably.

How Are Retained Placentas Treated?

There are various methods of treatment. Treatment could involve removal by hand. However, this could mean more of a risk of contracting an infection. Other methods could involve medication to help the body rid itself of the placenta by making the uterus contract or relax. Breastfeeding could be deemed a possible treatment as this helps your body to release certain hormones which could make your womb contract. Or, your doctor might ask you to try and empty your bladder to allow the placenta to be able to deliver. If these treatments do not work, then surgical intervention may be required as an emergency. This should ensure the placenta is removed fully.

Prognosis And Potential Complications

Below, we take a look at some of the potential complications that could arise from retained placentas as well as looking forward to seeing what could be done in the future to prevent further cases of retained placentas in future pregnancies. Note that the potential complications could form the basis for your placenta negligence claims.

Potential Complications

The placenta must be delivered. This allows the uterus to stop further bleeding by contracting. But it’s concerning if it’s a case of the placenta left in after birth. Should the placenta not be delivered, then it could be that the vessels where the organ is attached to the womb could carry on bleeding. In addition, your womb would not be able to close properly, and blood loss could not be prevented. If the placenta isn’t out within half an hour of the birth, blood loss could increase significantly. So, the severity of the situation could play a key role in the subsequent retained placenta medical negligence compensation claims.

The potential complications could include:

  • Infection within the uterus.
  • Heavy bleeding that could be life-threatening.
  • In some cases, Asherman’s syndrome (adhesions of the placenta) and/or infertility.

Prognosis

You may be asking ‘can a retained placenta cause death?’ While the answer is, potentially, yes, This isn’t a common occurrence in pregnancy, and it could if treated quickly and effectively, lead to a favourable outcome. However, there could be cases where the bleeding is not able to be controlled, and this could potentially lead to loss of life.

Can a retained placenta affect future pregnancies?

Other possible outcomes could be Asherman’s syndrome, and/or the requirement for a hysterectomy, leading to infertility. It could also lead to scar tissue developing, which could potentially lead to further problems with the placenta in future pregnancies.

Preventing Future Occurrences

While it is not possible to predict whether this condition would occur, if you are in the at-risk groups or you have had a previous issue you may wish to speak to your doctor to see what advice they give on how to prevent it happening in future pregnancies.

In terms of prevention, doctors could prevent this by giving medicine such as Oxytocin to help make the uterus contract, or they could use CCT (controlled cord traction) once the placenta has become separated. This involves the clamping of the cord while applying pressure to the cord and pulling, which encourages your placenta to deliver. Or uterine massage could be used.

For information on what can be included in medical negligence compensation claims, continue reading our guide. 

Retained Placenta Clinical Negligence Compensation Calculator – Updated September 2021

Regarding a personal injury claims calculator, it would be difficult to predict how much of a compensation payout you would receive for medical negligence. Still, we have used the Judicial College Guidelines to give some idea of the levels of compensation that could apply in this case. Should you wish to know more about the level of award you could be looking at with this type of medical negligence claim, then a medical negligence solicitor should assist. Below are some figures which you may wish to consider ahead of filing placenta negligence claims.

InjuryGuideline Payment BracketExplanation
Infertility£107,810 to £158,970Caused by injury or disease, with scarring and depression
Severe PTSD£56,180 to £94,470Such cases will involve permanent effects which prevent the injured person from working at all or at least from functioning at anything approaching the pre-trauma level.
Moderate PTSD£7,680 to £21,730Prognosis would not mean the person would be grossly disabled.
Less severe PTSD£3,710 to £7,680Recovery over 1-2 years.
Mental trauma£4,380The thought that the patient was about to lose their life
CRPS£49,270 to £78,840Severe
CRPS£26,300 to £49,270Moderate
Pain disorders£39,530 to £59,110Severe
Pain disorders£19,770 to £36,120Moderate

When claiming for retained placentas, the above amounts could apply in some cases, but there are also other payouts in terms of special damages that you could potentially claim for. For example, you might have required care at home after this happened to you, and the costs of this could be claimed for by the person that provided that care. As well as this, you may have lost income if you were intending on returning straight to work after your delivery. If you have been prevented from working by PTSD or physical symptoms, this could lead to a claim for lost income as well as a payment for your injuries themselves. In addition, medical and travel costs could be covered.

No Win No Fee Retained Placenta Medical Negligence Claims

When it comes to medical negligence compensation claims, you may fear you would not have enough cash to fund your claim upfront, but this is not an issue if you make your claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor. You and your lawyer sign a contract that requires their fees to be taken from your settlement amount at a capped percentage. This could reduce the risk, financially, of making a claim. There are other benefits to claiming in this manner too, as the solicitor’s pay would be impacted by your settlement, so you’d be sure they would work to get you the highest payout possible, as this would mean both you and the solicitor would benefit. This is because their fee is paid as a percentage of your settlement with a No Win No Fee agreement.

In addition, you would know they would only take your case on should they feel it had a strong chance of being successful. Here at Accident Claims, all of our panel of medical negligence solicitors work to this payment method. If you would like to know more about how this works and the percentages that solicitors would be looking to agree on, then please do get in touch. We pride ourselves on being transparent and would be glad to answer any questions you might have about placenta left in after birth.

Could I Claim Compensation?

If you believe you have cause for a retained placenta medical negligence claim, then it does not cost you a penny to call us and ask for our honest opinion on whether you have a case for medical malpractice. We will listen to all the details of your case and then work out whether we feel you could have a claim. If we feel you do and you wish to begin a claim, then we could provide you with a personal injury solicitor to fight your claim for you.

The solicitor in questions would work on No Win No Fee, meaning that you would not be required to fund your claim upfront. If you’re interested in learning more or would like a free telephone consultation with our advisors, call 0800 073 8801, email office@accidentclaims.co.uk, or fill out the form on our contact page, and we’ll call you. There’s no better time to get in touch to find out if you could have a medical negligence claim.

Medical negligence compensation claims FAQs

Can I make a claim against the NHS? 

For many of us living in the UK, the NHS is a source of pride and a lifeline for medical emergencies. For this reason, deciding to claim against the NHS in the case of medical negligence can be hard.

However, claims could be and are made, as per the below recent statistics from NHS Resolution.

retained placenta statistic graph

But if you’ve suffered unduly because of the negligence of a medical professional, you’re entitled to make a claim. Not only can a medical negligence claim compensate you for any pain and suffering you’ve experienced, but it can also reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses resulting from your injuries, like loss of earnings.

What’s the average payout for medical negligence compensation claims?

When it comes to making a medical negligence compensation claim or a compensation claim of any kind, it’s hard to put a value on the “average” amount you’ll receive. This is because each case is examined individually, and the amount of compensation you receive will depend on the effects that you’ve experienced as a result of this condition.

If you’d like to know more about what you could receive in a medical negligence compensation claim, then get in touch with our team today. We’ll be happy to discuss your case with you.

Is it medical negligence?

Not necessarily, as it becomes a complication of birth as opposed to negligence. However, it is possible to file medical negligence cases for retained placentas.

Is a retained placenta life-threatening?

It could potentially be life-threatening if not treated (perhaps via a blood transfusion) due to possible infections and internal blood loss.

What happens when a piece of placenta is left inside?

This can cause infections to develop, which at their worst could require emergency medical treatment.

Can retained placentas pass naturally?

This is possible, though doctors could attempt to assist with the process.

Can ultrasound detect retained placentas?

Yes, ultrasound is a core examination that medical professionals use to detect retention of the placenta.

How is retained placenta diagnosed?

This comes via a physical examination, blood level tests for human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and also an ultrasound.

Medical Guides And Resources

Below, you can find more guidance both from the NHS and from our experts. You may find it useful reading material if you’re considering claiming compensation.

Details Of What The Placenta Is And How It Works – The NHS page has a good explanation of the placenta and how it works.

Complications With The Placenta – This brings you to the NHS’s page on complications that can happen concerning the placenta.

The stages of labour and birth– An NHS guide on the stages of labour and what you can expect when you’re giving birth.

Medical Negligence That Leads To Death – This guide deals with how to claim for a loved one if medical negligence has caused their death.

General Information On Medical Negligence  – This page takes you to our general guide on medical negligence.

Birth Injury Compensation Guide – This case study looks at birth injury claims. It may be of interest if you’re looking to make a claim.

How would I prove my medical negligence claim?

There are lots of ways in which you might be asked to prove medical negligence led to your condition. In some cases, it might be wise to retain the following:

  • Details of whoever witnessed the incident- this could be surgical staff, midwives or even your family members or people in the same ward as you.
  • Photographs- if you have any photographs of your injuries, or anything pertaining to the incident, these could also be useful
  • An injury diary- if you keep a diary of how your injury has affected you, including details of any psychological issues you’ve had because of it, anything you’ve not been able to do because of it and how it has affected your life, this could give a bigger picture of your condition has affected you
  • Independent medical information- your medical notes would not normally be enough to make a medical negligence claim. You would need to go and see an independent medical expert, who would need to examine you, and ask you some questions about what’s happened to you. They could use this information, along with ordering tests and reviewing your past medical notes to put together a report detailing your condition and your prognosis for recovery. Courts and lawyers could use this to provide evidence of what’s happened to you, and work out an appropriate value for your claim.

If you would like further information on what evidence you might need, please do not hesitate to contact our team. We would be happy to talk to you about your case. We understand it may be difficult for you to talk about, especially if you’ve suffered psychological injuries. Therefore, we would handle your case with the utmost care.

Thank you for reading our guide on retained placenta medical negligence compensation claims. We hope you’ve found this placenta negligence claims guide useful. But please get in touch if you have any questions about claims for a placenta left in after birth.