Uterine Rupture Lawyers serving Michigan, Ohio, Washington DC, and nationwide
Uterine rupture is one of the most serious complications of pregnancy and labor. The signs of uterine rupture must be recognized and urgently acted upon by a physician to avoid fetal death or permanent brain damage. If you experienced a uterine rupture during delivery and your child has been diagnosed with brain damage, you may be eligible for compensation. Call the birth injury lawyers at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers toll-free at 1-888-419-BABY to learn about your options.
What is uterine rupture?
A uterine rupture is a very serious complication of pregnancy, labor and delivery that affects both a mother and her unborn child. It occurs when the wall of a woman’s uterus tears open, often during labor. A rupture is usually followed by the placenta and fetus spilling into the mother’s abdomen. If the rupture occurs during labor and delivery, the baby will often recede back into the birth canal.
A uterine rupture during labor requires very careful monitoring of the baby and the mother. If the physician is unable to control bleeding or if the baby is in distress (sudden fetal bradycardia), doctors perform an emergency “crash” C-section. To minimize the chance of fetal death and birth asphyxia-related injuries, the time between diagnosis and delivery of the baby should be less than 18 minutes. Once the baby is delivered, the uterus is repaired or in severe cases, the mother may undergo a hysterectomy.
Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Rupture
There are a number of signs of uterine rupture during labor. These include:
- Fetal heart rate decelerations or irregularities
- Vaginal bleeding or hemorrhaging
- Acute abdominal pain
- Loss of uterine contractions
- Baby recedes back into the birth canal
Some situations can increase the risk for a uterine rupture. These include:
- Prior caesarean sections, scarred uterus, vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). Women with scarring on their uterus due to uterine surgeries or abdominal injuries are at increased risk of uterine rupture. Women who are attempting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) are at significant risk of uterine rupture.
- The use of Pitocin, Cytotec and other labor-inducing drugs. Pitocin is a drug used to start labor and is one of the most common causes of uterine rupture. A recent study (“Risk factors associated with uterine rupture during trial of labor after caesarean delivery: a case-control study,” A.S. Leung) found that in one medical center, Pitocin had been administered in 77% of their uterine rupture cases. The chance of Pitocin-induced rupture increases with women who have had previous traumatic births.
- Post-term labor.
- Multiple fetuses.
- Abnormal fetal positions (e.g. breech, face presentation).
Help for your child
If a doctor fails to notice the warning signs of an impending uterine rupture, waits too long to order an emergency C-section, or mismanages this obstetrical emergency, he or she may be negligent.
Contact one of the expert birth injury lawyers at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers at 1-888-419-BABY for a free consultation. We will review the medical records associated with your case and determine if medical professionals committed medical malpractice. We work on a contingency fee basis which means that you will not be charged any fees unless we obtain a verdict or settlement in your case.
Related Articles and Blogs from Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers
- "VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean): Adequate information needed for informed decisions."
- "Physicians fail to diagnose uterine rupture and a mother loses her baby."
- "Ruptured uterus during VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) caused severe cerebral palsy in child; seventeen years later, child is on his way to college."
- "Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) caused by vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and uterine rupture."
By Jesse Reiter