About Uterine Rupture Birth Injuries
Uterine rupture is a tear in the wall of the uterus. It occurs in 0.5% to 1.0% of women with prior uterine scars (like cesarean sections), but is rare in women who have never had a cesarean section, with a rupture happening once every 15,000 to 20,000 births. Symptoms of a uterine rupture injury may include severe abdominal pain, or a popping feeling in the abdomen.
Risk Factors for Uterine Rupture
Women in the following categories have additional risks associated with uterine rupture:
- Obstructed labor,
- Multiple prior births (the risk goes up with the number of prior births)
- Breech baby
- Trauma (like a car accident)
- Pushing on the mother’s stomach during labor and delivery
Treating a Uterine Rupture
Doctors and nurses who fail to timely recognize the warning signs of a uterine rupture do so at great risk to their patients. Proper treatment may include a laparotomy (surgery into the abdomen) and repair of the uterus. A hysterectomy may be necessary if the hemorrhage (bleeding) cannot be controlled. Women who have a hysterectomy often require antibiotics and because of the risk of infection, and may need blood transfusions.
If the baby has not yet been delivered, an emergency cesarean section may be required immediately.
When a uterine rupture occurs, the blood flow to the baby is cut off, which can cause brain damage very quickly. Injuries caused by a uterine rupture that has not been timely identified or treated include:
- Wrongful death of the mother (usually because of excessive bleeding)