ACTION STAT: Abruptio placentae

February 2004 
Volume 34  Number 2
Pages 96 - 96
  PDF Version Available!


  • What's the situation?

  • What's your assessment?

  • What must you do immediately?

  • What should be done later?


  • Figure. No caption a...

    KATHLEEN CRAMER, 38, who's 30 weeks pregnant, arrives in your clinic complaining of sharp abdominal pains and vaginal spotting that started about an hour ago. She's pale, anxious, and slightly diaphoretic. You place her on a stretcher in a left-side-lying position and administer oxygen at 4 liters/ minute via nasal cannula.

    What's the situation?

    Ms. Cramer's vital signs are: BP, 160/94; pulse, 112; respirations, 28; and temperature, 100.9° F (37.3° C). Using an ultrasound device, you check the fetal heart rate; it's in the 160s (normal range is 120 to 160). Her abdomen is tender to touch and rigid. You notice a large amount of dark vaginal bleeding.

    Ms. Cramer says she ...

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