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Thread: Just What Is Vasa Previa?

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    Just What Is Vasa Previa?

    Vasa Previa is a rare (1:3000), heartbreaking condition in which the fetal blood vessels, unsupported by either the umbilical cord or placental tissue, traverse the fetal membranes (bag of waters) across the lower segment of the uterus between the baby and the cervical opening. The condition has a very high fetal mortality rate (50-100%) due to fetal exsanguination resulting from fetal vessels tearing when the amniotic membranes rupture or because the vessels become pinched off as they are compressed between the baby and the walls of the birth canal.

    Blood vessels feeding the baby normally travel from the placenta through the umbilical cord and into the baby's bellybutton. With velamentous insertion of the cord, or certain other placental abnormalities, parts of these blood vessels are unsupported instead of being imbedded in the placenta or umbilical cord. This in itself, is not necessarily life threatening or symptomatic. Babies with exposed vessels located between the baby and the cervical opening (vasa previa) are in serious trouble, however. Very often these exposed vessels tear or break, sometimes causing intermittent bleeding during pregnancy, other times causing a large bleed which compromises the baby immediately.

    Nathan lost more than half his blood supply in just a moment or two when my water broke. Since in vasa previa this very delicate vessel arrangement presents between the baby and the cervix, it is frequently the thinning and opening of the cervix and pressure from the baby on these vessels that brings about the child's demise. These vessels can also be pinched off by pressure from the baby and shut down the child's blood supply without necessarily causing any blood loss. Birth is disastrous for babies with vasa previa. These children share the womb with a time bomb that goes off at birth.


    Full Details of

    • Velamentous Insertion of the umbilical cord
    • Multi-lobed Placentas
    • So What Can Be Done to SAVE Vasa Previa Babies?
    Just What Is Vasa Previa?
    Last edited by trimurtulu; 02-07-2009 at 09:42 PM.

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