Uterine rupture is a rare but serious pregnancy complication that can harm both a mother and her unborn child. A uterine rupture takes place when the wall of a woman’s uterus tears open. Such a rupture can expel both the placenta and fetus into the abdomen and cause potentially fatal complications. Often, uterine rupture occurs during the early stages of labor, but can also happen at the end of a pregnancy. At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our attorney works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
Signs Of Uterine Rupture
During a uterine rupture, women may experience vaginal bleeding or feel pain or tenderness in the abdomen. Some women experience no pain or noticeable symptoms. In instances where the uterine rupture leads to no pain or bleeding, abnormalities in the fetus’s heart rate may be the only sign that something is wrong. Fetal heart deceleration or irregularities are an indication of possible fetal distress.
Although uterine rupture is not common, a woman’s health and medical history can affect her chances of experiencing uterine rupture. Such risk factors include:
- Previous births by cesarean section, known as VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean
- Post-term labor
- Irregular positioning of fetus
- Carrying more than one child
- Induction of labor using the synthetic hormone Pitocin
Induced Labor And Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
Pitocin, a stimulant used to induce labor, is one of the most common causes of uterine rupture. Women who have had previous traumatic deliveries are particularly susceptible to Pitocin-induced uterine ruptures. Thus, doctors must weigh the risks and benefits of Pitocin induction carefully. Women who have scarring on their uterus due to uterine surgeries or abdominal injuries are also at increased risk of experiencing a rupture of the uterus. In particular, VBAC creates a significant risk of uterine rupture.
Effects Upon A Baby In The Womb
Uterine rupture can lead to cataclysmic medical problems for a mother and her child. In the most severe cases, the rupture can cause fatal blood loss in the mother.
Additionally, the fetus may experience birth asphyxia (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy). While resuscitation is possible in many cases, birth asphyxia can be fatal. Even if a uterine rupture does not lead to death, it can still have catastrophic effects. These complications associated with uterine rupture can include brain damage, increased risk of developing cerebral palsy and lifelong neurological and cognitive problems.
Contact Our Arizona Lawyer For Help With Medical Negligence Claims
If you or your loved one has experienced a uterine rupture, it may be the result of medical negligence such as inappropriate use of Pitocin or VBAC. A fetal death, wrongful infant death or birth injury can take serious emotional and financial tolls on your family, but legal recourse may be available. To learn about your options, contact us online or call us at 480-951-3949. We serve people throughout the greater Phoenix area.