Birth Injuries

What Is Uterine Rupture?

A uterine rupture is a serious complication that can occur when the uterine wall is detached or compromised in some way during labor and delivery. What occurs during a uterine rupture is that the contents can spill into the abdominal cavity [1] which can then cause serious damage to the mother and baby. The damage to the baby can be rooted from oxygen related issues such as fetal hypoxia or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Due to the lack of oxygen, brain damage to the baby can occur, along with a uterine rupture in some cases leading to a cerebral palsy diagnosis that can occur in the baby down the line. When the child is blue in color, it acts as a “tip” for parents that a brain injury may have occurred. An emergency C-section must be conducted immediately when uterine ruptures present due to the risk of fetal hypoxia.

The likelihood of a uterine rupture in many mothers is greatest during labor and delivery, and at times during pregnancy. Chances of a uterine rupture increases when a mother has experienced a previous C-section [2]. Ruptures stemming from previous C-Sections can be due to scar tissue from the previous C-Section. Doctors must remain knowledgeable and understand the patient’s medical history because it can contain information pertinent to treatment.

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