What is abruptio placenta and what are its risk factors?
Abruptio placenta refers to premature separation of the placenta, i.e., before delivery of the fetus. It occurs in about 1/100 to 1/150 deliveries and carries a perinatal mortality rate of approximately 20%. The incidence of abruption increases with age and is more common in African-American women. Abruption is associated with hypertension, either chronic or pregnancy-induced, multiparity, cigarette smok-ing, and cocaine abuse. In women who have experienced a prior abruption, the risk of recurrence is 10 times higher than that of the general population.