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Uterine rupture can lead to catastrophic outcomes

Most pregnant women think they will be able to go through labor and delivery without any serious complications. While that’s what usually happens, there are times when life-threatening issues occur.

One potentially fatal problem that can occur when a woman is pregnant is a uterine rupture. This is often associated with a previous C-section delivery, but it’s also possible for other reasons.

What happens in a uterine rupture?

A uterine rupture happens when the uterus tears open. The uterus is a large muscle that has three layers. If the tear goes through all three layers, it’s a complete uterine rupture. If it doesn’t go through all three layers, it’s an incomplete uterine rupture.

In women who have a previous C-section or have had any type of uterine surgery, the rupture will usually occur along the scar line. Uterine rupture occurs in around one out of every 300 deliveries in women who have a previous C-section. It increases to around 9 out of every 300 deliveries in women who have more than one C-section.

What are the symptoms of a uterine rupture?

Severe vaginal bleeding is one of the primary signs of a uterine rupture. In some cases, the baby goes into distress, which means they have an abnormal heart rate. Severe abdominal pain, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, constant contractions or stalled labor are all signs of a uterine rupture.

Immediate delivery of the baby is critical when there’s a uterine rupture. The doctor will have to either repair the uterus or do a hysterectomy. Failure to do this can result in death for the mother or baby. If a doctor fails to diagnose or treat uterine rupture, a medical malpractice claim may be possible.

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