A uterine rupture in a pregnant patient during labor can be a life-threatening complication for both a mother and unborn baby. When a uterus ruptures, it tears open into the abdominal cavity and can cause a mother to hemorrhage and decrease the amount of blood and oxygen reaching a baby.
A uterus can rupture during active labor due to weakening in a previous C-section scar, hyperstimulation of the uterus, frequent or constant contractions or induced labor with Pitocin or oxytocin.
Signs or symptoms of a uterine rupture during labor are abdominal pain or tenderness, a feeling that something ripped or tore in the abdomen, pain between the shoulder blades, low blood pressure, fetal monitor changes, low fetal heart beat, fetal distress or halted contractions.
It is very important that a uterine rupture during labor is diagnosed and treated as soon as possible and without delay. Not only can a rupture lead to maternal hemorrhage, death or a hysterectomy, but a baby’s outcome and mental development after uterine rupture depends largely on the speed with which delivery is carried out.
Earlier this year, Kline & Specter medical malpractice attorneys were awarded a $19 million settlement in a birth injury case for the family of a newborn baby who suffered a severe brain injury due to a uterine rupture caused by Pitocin.