Getting into a car accident during pregnancy is one of the biggest fears a mother and her well-wishers have. In this fast-paced life, car accidents are widespread and frequent. There are two big factors that determine the health of pregnant women involved in a car accident. How bad was the car crash and how far along with the pregnancy is the mother?
A minor hiccup crash is not all that big, and one can refer a doctor to follow up on what needs to be done next, that is if you are in your first trimester. But bigger accidents need more effective and faster solutions. A high-speed car accident during pregnancy can lead to excessively severe cases and urgent medical attention compared to a slow-paced fender-bender.
When Should One Call a Doctor?
Getting involved in accidents during pregnancy can be very injurious to mother, and child. The results of the accident vary and depending on the severity of the situation; one needs to call a doctor immediately. If you are involved in accident and pregnant, here are some situations where you must call a doctor as soon as possible.
- Premature Birth– A premature birth is when the baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Research stated that premature birth is quite common in automotive accidents, and this needs immediate doctor’s attention since it can be a risk to the mother or the baby. The Center for Disease Control stated that one out of ten infants was born prematurely in 2018.
- Placental Abruption– This is a severe condition where the mother’s placenta partially or completely detaches from the uterus before the baby is born. It is a dangerous complication, and the symptoms may be bleeding, stomach, or back pain. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, the mortality rate is 119 out of 1000 in such pregnancy cases.
- Miscarriage– Not every, but in serious car accidents during pregnancy, mothers suffer cases of miscarriage due to the trauma that the baby receives through the powerful forces inflicted on the mother during the accident. In such chances of miscarriage, a mother can file a suit and legally claim for her losses. There are many skilled accident lawyers for pregnant women to help them gain personal injury compensation.
- Uterine Injury– Since the uterus enlarges during the pregnancy, it is susceptible to injuries. Such injuries can lead to life-threatening complications for both the mother and the unborn baby, and you must call a doctor in such a situation. The mortality rate for the unborn babies in such cases is almost 100 percent, and for the mother, it is about 10 percent.
According to 2018 statistics regarding the highest accident rates in cities, Los Angeles, California was in the second position in all of the United States of America. Accidents during pregnancy can mean severe damage when there is the deployment of airbags in the car during the accident. If the accident involves a pregnant woman who experiences vaginal bleeding as a result of that accident, she needs immediate medical attention, who must be taken to the emergency room. This could mean placental abruption, and urgently requires a doctor.
Accidents happen anywhere, anytime, in the blink of an eye. Car accidents during pregnancy can be terrifying and pregnant women are prone to more harm to themselves as well as their unborn children in such situations. Annual Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine has a study published that gave an estimate of 1500-5000 fetal deaths every year due to car accidents in the United States of America.
A similar study also stated that women were 42% more likely to get involved in a motor vehicle accident while carrying a child in the womb compared to when they were not pregnant. These accidents can lead them to the emergency room in a serious condition.
The impact on the unborn baby depends on the trimester and the severity of the crash. In the early stages of pregnancy, the fetus is likely to be unaffected by a minor accident. Only if you lose out on a lot of blood or not get enough oxygen can affect the fetus—the risk increases as your trimester increases. Your uterus is more prominent in the second and third trimester. The baby can suffer fetal trauma or congenital disabilities in the event of an accident that involves the mother.
In all these above cases, you must visit your OBGYN as soon as possible to avoid any complications later. Pregnancy is a very delicate time, and one needs to take utmost care in times like these, significantly when it is affected by some external factor like an accident during pregnancy.