SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

Triage is the sorting and allocation of treatment according to a system of priorities in order to maximize treatment. Placental triage promptly after delivery of the placenta, with documentation of the findings in the medical record, only takes a few minutes, and allows for the identification of abnormal placentas to be submitted for detailed gross and microscopic pathology examination. It requires familiarity with normal gross placental anatomy and variations of normal, and the development of a systematic procedure for comprehensive examination of the placental disk as a whole, the umbilical cord, the extraplacental membranes, the fetal surface, the maternal surface, and the parenchyma. This article provides a systematic approach to gross examination of the placenta. It also reviews the clinical and legal impact of placenta examination, and suggests procedures that will optimize the information available in the placenta.