Birth Injury:

Uterine Rupture

A uterine rupture is a tear in the uterine wall, most commonly at the site of a previous cesarean section incision. In a complete uterine rupture, the rip extends through all layers of the uterine wall, resulting in dangerous complications for the mother and child.

The first indication of uterine rupture is an abnormality in the fetus’ heartbeat. Pregnant mothers who attempt a vaginal birth after a c-section run a higher risk of uterine rupture, and therefore need continuous fetal monitoring. In addition to an abnormal heartbeat in the fetus, the doctor, nurse and midwife should also be aware of any abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or rapid pulse in the mother.

Nearly every uterine rupture occurs at the site of a c-section scar. While a uterine rupture can occur during pregnancy, it most often happens during labor as result of contractions. Mothers who previously had a “classical” c-section, where the cut extends vertically to the upper region of the uterus, have a higher chance of uterine rupture. These mothers should be scheduled for a c-section before labor begins. Women who underwent other forms of uterine surgery, such as a procedure to extract fibroids or reshape a malformed uterus, should also be prepared for a c-section.

Risk Factors for Uterine Ruptures

While rare, uterine ruptures can also occur in mothers who are predisposed to certain risk factors, including:

  • Having five or more children
  • Having a placenta that’s implanted too far into the uterine wall
  • Experiencing frequent and forceful contractions
  • Having an overdistended uterus
  • Undergoing a prolonged labor with an infant that is too big for the mother’s pelvis

Birth Injury Lawsuits: Uterine Ruptures

Our birth injury lawyers will determine whether your uterine rupture was caused by medical negligence. Our birth injury attorneys have handled many cases where the medical team ignored abnormalities on fetal monitors, failed to response to signs of uterine rupture and misinterpreted tracings where uterine ruptures were likely. When an infant’s heart abnormality is ignored in a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) mother, serious complications often follow. In many cases of uterine rupture, fetal death or brain damage occurs.

With the help of a knowledgeable medical team, our birth injury lawyers can determine whether your uterine rupture could have been prevented. For instance, we understand that:

  • Uterine ruptures rarely happen in first-time mothers with no risk factors
  • When a mother is at risk for a uterine rupture, appropriate steps must be taken to prevent this birth injury
  • Labor complications noted in VBAC mothers need immediate assessment and appropriate action to protect the mother and child

If you experienced a uterine rupture during pregnancy, fill out our case review form on the right. Even if you are unsure whether medical malpractice was involved, we can assess your birth injury case for free. Contact our birth injury lawyers today to take the first step towards possible compensation.