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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vaginal Bleeding Before 20 Weeks Gestation Due to Placental Abruption Leading to Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation and Fetal Loss After Appearing to Satisfy Criteria for Routine Threatened Abortion: A Case Report and Brief Review of the Literature

  • Author(s): Hodgson, DT
  • Lotfipour, S
  • Fox, JC
  • et al.

We present a case of placental abruption with concomitant disseminated intravascular coagulation in a woman who presented with vaginal bleeding. A 32-year-old pregnant woman at 17 and 4/7 weeks gestation with a 1-month history of intermittent abdominal pain presented to our Emergency Department (ED) with 1 h of vaginal bleeding. Upon initial history, the patient reported that she was diagnosed with "blood behind the placenta" the day before and was discharged on pelvic precautions. An ED ultrasound confirmed the sub-amniotic hematoma with placental hematoma and a viable intrauterine fetus. A low fibrinogen level was suggested for disseminated intravascular coagulation and increasing hemorrhage necessitated dilation and evacuation and multiple units of blood products on an emergent basis. Only a few cases have been described in the literature demonstrating disseminated intravascular coagulation in patients at fewer than 20 weeks gestation with routine ultrasound findings of live intrauterine pregnancy and subchorionic hemorrhage. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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