The placenta as a critical care issue

Karin A. Fox, Martha W.F. Rac, Alireza A. Shamshirsaz, Michael A. Belfort

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews specific placental disorders that are associated with development of maternal critical illness and outlines condition-specific treatment plans. Antenatal diagnosis, appropriate planning, and prompt recognition and treatment of complications reduce the risk of maternal death. Antenatal diagnosis of morbidly adherent placenta (MAP) improves pregnancy outcome. Women presenting with placental conditions, especially in the settings of hemorrhage or morbidly adherent placenta, benefit from multidisciplinary care in an intensive care setting. Classical findings in placental abruption include rupture of poorly formed spiral arteries, or arterial shearing causing high-pressure flow and extension into the basal plate and intervillous space. In cases in which the placenta previa resolves, there is an increased risk for vasa previa, a condition in which fetal vessels unprotected by the placenta or umbilical cord course over or within 2?cm of the internal os.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Care Obstetrics
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781119129400
ISBN (Print)9781119129370
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Antenatal diagnosis
  • Intensive care setting
  • Maternal death
  • Morbidly adherent placenta
  • Placenta previa
  • Placental abruption
  • Vasa previa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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