Uterine Rupture Can Cause Serious Injuries to Mother and Child

Perry Larkin | September 4th, 2012

Uterine rupture is most common during early labor, but may also occur in late pregnancy.

Uterine rupture occurs when a woman experiences a tear in the wall of her uterus, usually during childbirth. In addition to causing severe pain, this condition may cause birth injuries like cerebral palsy, hemorrhage, and anoxic brain injury. In the most tragic cases, uterine rupture may also cause death of the infant and/or mother.

Some signs of imminent rupture include:

• Abnormal fetal heartbeat

• Abdominal pain

• Rapid pulse (mother)

• Vaginal bleeding

• Difficulty or pain from breathing

• Contractions slow or stop

• Other signs of shock or internal bleeding

Risk factors of uterine rupture

Uterine rupture is very rare in first-time mothers and is most common in women who have had a previous cesarean section. During a C-section, doctors cut through the uterine wall, therefore compromising muscle integrity. During the stress of contractions, scarring can give way and cause rupture. This occurrence is uncommon for mothers with low-transverse incisions. Women who have had a classical C-section—a vertical incision to the upper, muscular part of the uterus—are more likely to experienced uterine rupture.

Risk factors include:

Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC): VBAC is only recommended for mothers who have healed from low-transverse C-sections.

Multiples: An enlarged uterus from twins or multiples, and also excess amniotic fluid, may cause rupture.

Forceful, frequent contractions: Very strong contractions, such as those caused by labor medications, may cause uterine rupture.

Treatment of a uterine rupture

A uterine rupture must be treated swiftly to prevent further injury to the infant or mother. If the baby has not yet been delivered, an emergency C-section is required. Additionally, the medical team may perform a laparotomy (abdominal surgery) to repair the uterus or, if hemorrhaging cannot be controlled, a hysterectomy.

If medical staff negligently fails to respond to uterine rupture, it can have shattering results. The birth injury might occur because the medical staff failed to perform a cesarean section. A woman can suffer severe bleeding and internal injuries. If the newborn is deprived of oxygen, he or she may be born with cerebral palsy, brain damage or other neurological birth injuries. Tragically, some babies and mothers die from uterine rupture.

Contact a lawyer if uterine rupture and medical negligence caused birth injury

A lawsuit can compensate for the ongoing medical treatments, therapy, and lifestyle changes that the condition requires.

Victims of uterine rupture injuries are encouraged to contact an attorney at Balkin and Eisbrouch to discuss their legal options. A lawyer can help the unfortunate families affected by uterine rupture injuries or wrongful death seek compensation for their resulting emotional, physical and economic damages.

Our team of experienced attorneys may be able to secure compensation for economic, emotional, and physical damages to both mother and child. If you suspect your child suffered birth injury resulting from medical malpractice, you may have a case. Call today.