Pregnancy Risks During a Car Accident
Your last ultrasound at Suburban Hospital was absolutely perfect. Your baby was absolutely perfect. So perfect, in fact, that you couldn’t wait to get home and show your husband. Therefore, instead of taking the usual route down Hoover to Glenwood, you decided to take the faster route down 187.
Your husband has repeatedly told you to avoid Old Georgetown, especially since you’ve been pregnant, but you decided to take the risk just this once. You were literally 20 feet from your exit when all of a sudden the SUV beside you veered into your lane, colliding straight into your driver side door. You remember everything spinning and then...nothing. Just blackness.
You awoke to find yourself back at Suburban, lying in a bed with monitors and sensors attached to your belly. What happened? What’s going on? Is your baby okay?Collision Dangers for Expectant Mothers
Pregnancy can be an extremely worrisome and stressful period in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, a new study has found one more thing about which expectant mothers should be concerned: serious car accidents. Research performed by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences has concluded that pregnant women—especially those in their second trimester—have a 42 percent higher risk of being in a serious car accident than women who aren’t pregnant. The study suggests that pregnancy distractions such as nausea, pain, fatigue, and irritability may be factors.
Dr. Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto estimates that "about one in 50 women will be involved in a crash of some severity during some month of the average pregnancy—making it a more common risk for pregnancies than pre-eclampsia or blood clots.”
When the probability of an accident increase, so does the risk for the mother and the fetus. Some of these risks include:
- Internal bleeding. Crushing forces, impaling debris, or seat belt constriction can cause internal bleeding for both mother and fetus.
- Placental detachment is the most common form of pregnancy damage during a car accident, occurring in 20 to 50 percent of serious accident cases. It occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, disrupting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Since the placenta attachment is weaker than the placenta itself and the uterine wall, direct force or impact can cause it to become detached before direct injury to the placenta or uterus.
- Uterine rupture or lacerations. When crushing forces, violent twisting, cuts, punctures, or pelvic fractures affect the uterine wall, the risk for direct fetal injury drastically increases. Although rare, 99 percent of uterine injuries result in death of the unborn baby.
- Hypoxia. When oxygen is cut off to the mother’s brain as a result of a head injury, constriction, or other injury, the fetus’s oxygen supply is also cut off.
- Fetal injuries. Any injury suffered by the mother could potentially affect the fetus as well. Anything from blood loss, bruising, broken bones, or impalements (especially around the uterine region) could complicate labor, restrict necessary blood, oxygen and nutrient flow to the fetus, or directly cut, stab, strangle or constrict the fetus.
Protecting your unborn child is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job that is stressful and scary enough without adding potential risks. This is why it’s extremely important to limit driving whenever possible (especially in the second and third trimesters), remember to follow driving safety basics, and take the proper precautions needed for pregnancy car safety. Don’t put your baby at risk; be careful and stay safe!
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, or how safe you drive, the actions of other drivers can still put you and your baby at risk. If you’ve recently been in a car accident where you’ve been harmed or your unborn child sustained serious or fatal injuries contact us at once. We’ll help you get the justice you both deserve as well as the compensation you need for treatment, damages, and suffering. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to help. Call now for a free consultation.
Know someone who is expecting? Use your social media contacts to help educate her about the pregnancy risks involved during a car accident. By sharing this page with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, you can help her take the precautions she needs to protect herself and her child. Please, click the media icons on this page to help decrease fetal collision injuries.