The nurse is caring for a client with a retained placenta following a noneventful vaginal birth of a full-term infant. The nurse understands which of the following is true regarding a retained placenta?

  • Placental fragments may be detected on an MRI or CT scan.
  • Nitroglycerin IV may be given to promote uterine relaxation.
  • Removing the remaining fragments helps lower the risk of postpartum infection.
  • If placental fragments remain, the uterus will feel firm due to retained fragments.
Number 2 is correct.
Tocolytics such as nitroglycerin IV may help relax the uterus. Ultrasonography is used to detect remaining fragments. After the removal of a retained placenta or fragments, the client is at continued risk of postpartum hemorrhage and infection. Retention of fragments causes the uterus to feel boggy due to uterine atony.