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Uterine Rupture

Although rare, the uterus can rupture or tear on occasion.

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What is a Uterine Rupture?

A uterine rupture, also known as a tear, is a serious pregnancy complication that puts both the mother and the unborn child in immediate danger. A case of medical malpractice may develop if the delivery room staff fails to act promptly to stop a uterine rupture from happening or to perform an emergency cesarean section when one occurs. According to general recommendations, a baby must be delivered within 18 minutes of a uterine rupture to prevent serious harm to the mother and the child.

The baby and amniotic fluid are held in the uterus, which resembles a bag. Blood travels from uterine blood vessels to placental blood vessels, then travels through the umbilical vein to the baby. This is significant because the baby in the womb receives oxygen from this blood.

Although rare, the uterus can rupture or tear on occasion. Due to the baby's oxygen supply being compromised and the possibility of the mother bleeding severely, this is an emergency complication. At the time of delivery, it may also cause the baby to move into the mother's abdomen.

Risk Factors

Things that may contribute to Uterine Ruptures:

  • C-section scars
  • hysterotomy scars
  • uterine perforation scars, and
  • other uterine scars are the most common risk factors for uterine rupture. 

Other factors include:

  • vaginal delivery after C-section (VBAC)
  • labor obstruction
  • labor induction
  • breech position
  • multiple fetuses
  • recent deliveries, and
  • large babies for gestational age. 

While rupture usually happens during labor, it can also happen earlier in the pregnancy. The diagnosis may be suspected if the baby's heart rate rapidly decreases during labor. In a less serious condition known as uterine dehiscence, the old scar only partially separates.

Signs of a Uterine Rupture

  • Severe and sudden abdominal pain
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Irregular fetal heartbeat
  • Changing contraction patterns
  • Unstable blood pressure and heart rate
  • Hematuria (if rupture extends into the bladder)
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Recession of baby’s head into the birth canal
  • Placental abruption
  • Loss of uterine muscle tone

Fetal distress shown on the heart monitor is often the first indication of a uterine rupture. This is commonly discovered before the mother experiences discomfort or bleeding.

The fetal heart monitor should be used to track the infant's heart rate, and a doctor should be alerted immediately if anything changes. The baby's heart rate change should signal that an urgent C-section is required.

 

Uterine-Rupture

 

How Are Uterine Ruptures Treated?

Uterine surgery is usually required in uterine rupture cases to quickly extricate the infant from the mother's body. Critical care and ventilation are required to restore oxygen to the brain and improve the infant's chances of survival. Blood transfusions might be needed if there is significant blood loss due to the uterine rupture. In more severe situations, removing the mother's uterus might be necessary to stop the bleeding. After the ruptured uterus has been removed, the woman won't be able to conceive again.

Medical Malpractice

It's crucial to remember that uterine rupture is an injury brought on by a pre-existing condition. The doctor’s responsibility is to identify risk factors that may lead to a uterine rupture, and to prevent or treat it before it causes unnecessary harm to the infant or mother. A doctor's failure to do that, is the main basis for a uterine rupture medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Learn more about what to do after a birth injury in our FREE guide. View Guide
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Birth Injury Attorneys in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

If you or your baby were harmed during your pregnancy or delivery, you may have a case for medical malpractice. The skilled attorneys at D’Amore Personal Injury Law will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and advise you of your legal rights. There are never any out-of-pocket costs to you unless they win your case. Reach out today at 410-324-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

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If you or a loved one has been injured by someone else's negligence, contact us immediately.

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