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Uterine Rupture Birth Injury

Birth Injuries Caused By Uterine Rupture

Women worry about many things before giving birth. How long with labor take? Will the baby be healthy? What if the infant gets stuck in the birth canal? Will I need a C-section? Should I have an epidural?

Most women do not consider the possibility that their uterus could rupture during birth because it is rare. Uterine rupture happens in 0.07 percent of pregnancies. Yet, when it does occur, it can have catastrophic effects, putting both the mother's and infant's lives at risk. This is especially true if doctors do not act quickly to deliver the baby and heal the mother.

What Is Uterine Rupture?

Uterine rupture is a tear in the uterine wall that can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Birth trauma
  • Multiple gestation
  • The mother's age (over 30)
  • Fever in the mother
  • Labor involving a large baby
  • Use of certain drugs such as oxytocin
  • Use of forceps in the midpelvic area
  • Weak uterine muscles
  • Vaginal delivery following a previous C-section (cesarean scar rupture)

Uterine Rupture and VBACs

The last factor is concerning to many women, who wonder if it is safe to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). The risk factors often depend on what type of C-section incision a person has. Uterine rupture is rare in those with a low-transverse scar (1 percent), but can be high for those with a "T" or "J" scar (9 percent).

What Are the Signs That a Uterine Rupture Has Occurred?

The symptoms of uterine rupture can be subtle. They may include abdominal pain, bleeding, changes in fetal heart rate, changes in contractions and recession of the baby's head. No matter what the symptoms, doctors should be able to detect the rupture using electronic fetal monitoring. In instances when doctors act swiftly — within 18 minutes of the rupture — mothers and infants can do well and escape serious injury.

Unfortunately, some doctors misdiagnose the symptoms and do not take swift action to get the baby out or give the mother a blood transfusion. In those cases, the infant may suffer hypoxia (loss of oxygen to the brain), the mother may suffer shock and both may die. If the doctor breached the standard of care and the birth injury would not have occurred but for his or her actions, he or she may be liable for doctor malpractice.

When Medical Malpractice Causes Uterine Rupture

Nothing can give you the "special moment" that you had dreamed about or bring back a lost loved one. There is, however, some relief in knowing that what happened to you will not happen to someone else under the same doctor's care. If you believe medical professionals failed to follow the standard of care after a uterine rupture and caused your injuries or the death of your loved one, you can and should take action.

Our Birth Injury Team, which is a subsidiary of Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., is dedicated to helping clients across the United States receive the care and support they need after a traumatic birth. We are ready to answer your questions about filing a medical malpractice claim for uterine rupture.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

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