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Uterine rupture: what it is and how it's treated

Uterine rupture is a serious complication that all expectant mothers in Texas should be aware of. It is rare, affecting less than 1 percent of pregnancies, and usually occurs in women with uterine scars from past cesarean sections and other uterine surgeries. In a uterine rupture, the baby can slip into the mother's abdomen, causing severe bleeding in the mother and suffocation in the baby.

As it affects only vaginal births, it is prevented with a C-section. At the same time, every C-section increases the risk for uterine rupture. This is cause for concern as one in three women in the U.S. either chooses to undergo, or must undergo, a cesarean delivery.

Uterine ruptures occur through the pressure that builds up when the baby moves through the birth canal. The symptoms of a rupture include slower or less intense contractions, pain between contractions, abdominal pain, excessive vaginal bleeding, rapid heart rate and low blood pressure in the mother and an abnormal heart rate in the baby.

The chances of the mother dying from blood loss are low when the rupture occurs in a hospital. The baby is most at risk; if it is not delivered in 10 to 40 minutes, it could die from suffocation. Ruptures can be treated through the surgical removal of the uterus. Mothers may also require a blood transfusion.

Since uterine ruptures occur suddenly, doctors only have so much time to diagnose them and act accordingly. However, it is possible for someone who suffers uterine ruptures to claim that the doctor's negligence led to birth injuries. For a malpractice claim to be successful, several requirements must be met; for example, victims must show that the doctor failed to live up to an objective standard of care. This is why having a lawyer may be important. A lawyer might also negotiate on the victim's behalf.

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