What are the Signs of a Ruptured Uterus Due to Medical Malpractice?

Women Experiencing Signs of a Ruptured Uterus

A ruptured uterus is a serious medical issue that may harm both mother and baby during a vaginal birth. While it is a rare occurrence, every labor and delivery process is different from mother to mother — it is your doctor’s duty and responsibility to understand the signs of a ruptured uterus and treat it quickly to avoid serious complications or even death.

As birth injury attorneys, we understand even the rarest of medical complications can be devastating, especially if they are due to negligence from your doctor.

What factors cause a uterine rupture

A uterine rupture is a tear in the uterine wall that occurs before or during labor. When it tears, it is deemed an emergency complication since a tear will limit the baby’s oxygen supply and may cause serious bleeding for the mother. Large tears may also cause the baby to move into the mother’s abdomen — leading to even more damage outside of the uterus during delivery.

Tears may occur in the uterus with no prior scars obtained from a C-section, but a ruptured uterus is more common in women who have experienced a prior uterine surgery or a C-section delivery.

What are the high risk factors doctors should watch for? 

Your doctor should be attentive in all stages of your labor and delivery process. If the signs of a ruptured uterus occur, your doctor must act quickly, especially if you have had a previous uterine rupture, C-section or uterine surgery.

Additional risk factors for a ruptured uterus include:

  • Delivering a breech-position baby;
  • Difficult labor, especially if it is late gestation;
  • Internal version or other obstetric maneuvers to reposition the baby;
  • Delivering multiple babies;
  • If the patient has birthed more than five babies previously;
  • Induction, especially for a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC);
  • Recently delivered a baby within 18-24 months;
  • More than one prior C-section; or
  • Overdistention of the uterine cavity.

What symptoms should my doctor watch for? 

A uterine rupture will occur suddenly, and there is an extremely short window of time for your doctor to respond to avoid a birth injury. During your labor and delivery process, your doctor must watch for these signs, especially if you experienced any of the above risk factors:

Sudden and severe abdominal pain;

  • Changes in contraction patterns;
  • Fetal distress, such as abnormal fetal heart rate;
  • Vaginal bleeding;
  • Hemorrhaging;
  • Baby recedes into birth canal or another area of the abdomen;
  • Labor that stops or slows down; or
  • Fast heart rate or low blood pressure in the mother.

When is it considered medical malpractice? 

Compared to other cases of medical malpractice, a uterine rupture is not normally the result of a doctor’s action. Rather, it is by their inaction that complications arise and cause devastating repercussions for families.

The signs of a uterine rupture should prompt immediate action by your care team by performing an emergency C-section. However, there are instances where a doctor fails to diagnose, treat or properly assess the situation and it causes significant damage to the mother and/or the child. If your doctor failed to address your uterine rupture symptoms, properly review your medical history or perform an emergency c-section and it resulted in serious complications, you may have a strong case for a medical malpractice claim for you or your baby.

Hire a Missouri Birth Injury Attorney 

A ruptured uterus is a serious medical condition that must be cared for immediately. If you experienced a uterine rupture during your baby’s delivery and it resulted in serious injuries for you or your baby, you should consider taking legal action.

At Zevan Davidson Roman, we will work hard to help you obtain the compensation and justice you and your family deserve. Contact our experienced birth injury attorneys for a free consultation today about your case.

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