3 Placenta Previa Nursing Care Plans


Placenta previa is an obstetric complication in which the placenta is attached to the uterine wall close to or covering the cervix. Placenta previa is a life-threatening maternal bleeding typically necessitates termination of the pregnancy. Maternal prognosis is good if hemorrhage can be controlled; fetal prognosis depends on the gestational age and amount of blood lost. Anemia may be managed by blood transfusion to permit the pregnancy to continue in utero. It can sometimes occur in the later part of the first trimester, but usually during the second or third. It is a leading cause of antepartum hemorrhage (vaginal bleeding). It affects approximately 0.5% of all labors.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care management and treatment of placenta previa is design to assess, control, and restore blood loss, and to deliver a viable infant. Immediate therapy includes starting an IV line using a large bore catheter.

Here are three (3) placenta previa nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis

  1. Deficient Fluid Volume
  2. Decreased Cardiac Output
  3. Ineffective Tissue Perfusion
  4. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans

Deficient Fluid Volume

Fluid volume deficit is a state in which an individual is experiencing decreased intravascular, interstitial and/or intracellular fluid. Active blood loss or hemorrhage due to disrupted placental implantation during pregnancy may manifest signs and symptoms of fluid vol. deficient that may later lead to hypovolemic shock and cause maternal and fetal death.


Patient may manifest: 

  • Bleeding episodes (amount, duration)
  • Abdomen soft/hard when palpated
  • Manifests body weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased respiratory rate
  • Fetal heart rate less than normal (120-160 bpm)
  • Decreased urine output
  • Increased urine concentration
  • Pale, cold, clammy skin

Nursing Diagnosis


  • Patient will maintain fluid volume at a functional level possibly evidenced by adequate urinary output and stable vital signs.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Establish RapportTo gain patient’s trust
Monitor Vital SignsTo obtain baseline data
Assess color, odor, consistency and amount of vaginal bleeding; weigh padsProvides information about active bleeding versus old blood, tissue loss and degree of blood loss
Assess hourly intake and output.Provides information about maternal and fetal physiologic compensation to blood loss
Assess baseline data and note changes. Monitor FHR.Assessment provides information about possible infection, placenta previa or abruption. Warm, moist, bloody environment is ideal for growth of microorganisms.
Assess abdomen for tenderness or rigidity- if present, measure abdomen at umbilicus (specify time interval)Detecting increased in measurement of abdominal girth suggests active abruption
Assess SaO2, skin color, temp, moisture, turgor, capillary refill (specify frequency)Assessment provides information about blood vol., O2 saturation and peripheral perfusion
Assess for changes in LOC: note for complaints of thirst or apprehensionTo detect signs of cerebral perfusion
Provide supplemental O2 as ordered via face mask or nasal cannula @ 10-12 L/min.Intervention increases available O2 to saturate decreased hemoglobin
Initiate IV fluids as ordered (specify fluid type and rate).For replacement of fluid vol. loss
Position Pt. in supine with hips elevated if ordered or left lateral position.Position decreases pressure on placenta and cervical os. Left lateral position improves placental perfusion
Monitor lab. Work as obtained: Hgb & Hct, Rh and type, cross match for 2 units RBCs, urinalysis, etc. Scheduled for ultrasound as ordered.Lab Work provides information about degree of blood loss; prepares for possible transfusion. Ultrasound provides info about the cause of bleeding



Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:


Other care plans related to the care of the pregnant mother and her infant:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.