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What are the dangers of a uterine rupture?

A uterine rupture, in which the wall of a pregnant woman's uterus tears, is an extremely dangerous condition for both the mother and the baby. Effective treatment of a uterine rupture calls for the most expedient, thorough and cautious prenatal care to protect the lives of both mother and infant.

A rupture can occur in a woman with an unscarred uterus or in a woman with a uterus scarred from a previous surgery, such as a previous cesarean section. Most ruptures occur once the woman is already in labor, but some occur prior to the onset of labor.

Signs of a uterine rupture may be difficult to determine, but it is essential to diagnose the condition as soon as possible given its seriousness. Experts indicate that physicians generally have, at most, 37 minutes, and possibly as few as 10 minutes, from the time of diagnosis of a uterine rupture to deliver the baby. After this time period has passed, the chance of the baby surviving is negligible if the doctor has not delivered the baby.

If a negligent doctor does not diagnose this condition promptly and then delivers the baby via a cesarean section with the utmost speed and care, the mistake could prove fatal. When a uterine rupture occurs, the fetus may go into distress and may die as a result of catastrophic hemorrhage or deprivation of oxygen, or a combination of the two.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a uterine rupture due to the negligent treatment of a doctor or a nurse, compensation may be available. Getting more information about medical malpractice law could help you to learn your rights and may be able to help you recover for the pain and suffering you have experienced.

Source:, "Uterine Rupture in Pregnancy," Gerard G Nahum and Krystle Quynh Pham, accessed March 13, 2015

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