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What Is a Uterine Rupture?

March 6th, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

Giving birth can be beautiful and empowering, but it is natural to feel anxious about the actual labor and delivery. Although millions of women throughout the United States give birth to healthy babies every year, a small percentage experience life-threatening complications during the process.


In some cases, it is virtually impossible for doctors to predict or prevent serious issues during the delivery, but in others, the woman may have exhibited signs or symptoms of potential complications during her pregnancy. If an obstetrician fails to identify certain risk factors or diagnose specific symptoms and a patient or her baby suffers as a result, the doctor could be liable for any damages that arise.

A uterine rupture is just one example of a fairly preventable birth complication. This complication affects less than 1 percent of pregnant women and almost always occurs in patients who have had prior uterine surgery, like a cesarean section.

If you suffered a uterine rupture or other preventable complication during labor and delivery, turn to The Bowling Law Firm. A compassionate birth injury lawyer in New Orleans will review the circumstances of your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.

What Is a Uterine Rupture?

A uterine rupture is a tear that develops in the wall of the uterus. Such ruptures typically occur at the site of a prior fibroid removal or C-section, where the uterine wall has been strained and is weakened due to scar tissue.

The risk of suffering a uterine rupture increases with every C-section. Although it is possible to deliver vaginally after having a C-section, women who do so must be monitored closely for any signs of distress. According to What to Expect, women are also more likely to develop a uterine rupture if they have:

  • Placenta previa;
  • Placenta accreta; or
  • Placental abruption.

What Happens During a Uterine Rupture?

Uterine ruptures often occur during the early stages of labor. The first sign is usually an abnormal heart rate in the baby, which is why constant fetal monitoring is essential for those who are risk of a tear. Other symptoms include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, shock, and a rapid pulse.

If a woman experiences a uterine rupture during labor, doctors will deliver the baby via emergency C-section. They will then attempt to control the bleeding. If they cannot, the patient may require a hysterectomy.

In most cases, ruptures are more dangerous for the baby than the mother. If the baby is not delivered quickly following a tear, he or she could suffocate inside the mother’s abdomen. Fortunately, such an outcome is rare, and the mother and baby are usually healthy if doctors act fast.

If an obstetrician failed to identify certain risk factors while you were pregnant and you suffered complications during labor and delivery as a result, contact The Bowling Law Firm today. David A. Bowling has more than 30 years of trial experience.

Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a case evaluation with a strategic birth injury attorney in New Orleans. You can learn more about birth injury claims in Louisiana by visiting

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