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Retained products of conception (RPOC) are remaining parts of pregnancy tissue i.e. placenta, that remain within the uterus (womb) after miscarriage, termination, vaginal or caesarean delivery.
What are the Symptoms of RPOC?
The most common symptoms of RPOC include continued heavy bleeding after delivery or miscarriage, a high fever, discharge and severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis region.
How is it diagnosed and treated?
If an individual has presented with symptoms of RPOC an ultrasound will be performed in a timely manner as to prevent scarring, infection and sepsis which may all lead to recurrent pregnancy loss or infertility.
The medical treatment that may be suggested include taking tablets at hospital or at home which encourages the uterus to expel the remaining tissue.
Alternatively, a short surgical procedure known as an Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception (ERPC) may be performed under general anaesthetic.
Clinical Negligence and retained products of conception
After a natural birth or miscarriage, it is common for some women to experience RPOC and this in itself is not considered to be negligent treatment. However, the treatment may become negligent if a patient presents with symptoms of ongoing heavy bleeding and pain in the weeks after delivery and an ultrasound or examination are not performed in a timely manner.
In contrast, during a Caesarean section if any part of the placenta or pregnancy tissue is not removed during the delivery of the baby the treatment received may be considered to be negligent due to the delivery team’s ability to examine the uterus during the procedure for any remaining products of conception.
If you think you have suffered medical negligence, don’t waste time, seek professional legal advice.