Many families who file a medical malpractice civil suit require a life care plan to provide the economic loss projections they will endure over the child's lifetime.
Did a birth injury disable the mother or baby? Are you confused about the red tape, or is the physician reluctant to reveal what caused your injuries that might involve a uterine rupture?
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can evaluate your case and initiate a free investigation. Call our birth injury law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Birthing a Healthy Baby
Every pregnant woman hopes for an uncomplicated pregnancy followed by a safe labor and delivery experience to ensure the child is born healthy.
However, specific problems can arise, especially in women with vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) delivery. In addition, many women experience an unexpected uterine tear that might be caused by medical negligence.
Because of that, many families had filed a uterine rupture malpractice case against the medical team and hospital when something went horribly wrong during pregnancy or delivery.
A uterine rupture during labor and delivery is one of the most severe threats to the health of both mother and baby. The developing condition is most common in women with prior cesarean sections, surgeries involving a scarred or unscarred uterus, or when too much Pitocin has been administered.
Sometimes, a uterine rupture occurs when the myometrial wall (uterus) tears and the contents of the uterus spill out into the perinatal cavity.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Cases of Uterine Rupture
Our law firm represents victims of medical malpractice, defective medical devices (product liability), and other types of professional negligence. Our law office takes immediate action on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive total compensation and build cases on evidence and testimony provided by medical experts.
Our birth injury lawyers have successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who suffered a uterine rupture because of the negligent actions of others.
In addition, a birth injury lawyer is available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of a medical professional's mistake.
Injured victims of medical malpractice are entitled to receive economic and non-economic damages, including payment for medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, and suffering.
Should you have additional questions concerning compensation for your uterine rupture, our birth injury lawyers invite you to contact our law firm for a free review of your legal rights.
Defining a Uterine Rupture
This rare, severe, and life-threatening ruptured uterus complication is caused by a breach in the myometrial wall when the uterus contents (including the fetus) spill into the pregnant woman's broad ligament (mesothelial cell sheet) or peritoneal cavity.
Approximately 1% of all pregnant women suffer a complete uterine rupture that could place the health of the baby or mother in grave danger. Typically, the doctor will discuss the baby's health concerns and take quick action to perform an emergency cesarean section.
If the emergency surgical intervention takes longer than 40 minutes, the child can die from asphyxiation (lack of oxygen), typically caused by severe bleeding in the mother's womb.
Doctors perform most uterine rupture C-section procedures with a low-transverse (horizontal) incision in hospitals to minimize any potential uterine rupture in all future pregnancies.
Why a Uterine Rupture Occurs
The buildup of pressure during labor is a significant cause of a uterine tear during vaginal delivery.
A uterine rupture problem is worsened, and the risks of birth injuries are much higher if the pregnant woman has a scar from a previous cesarean delivery.
The use of oxytocin increased the risk of unscarred uterine rupture in more than 40% of cases.
Warning Signs of Uterine Rupture
There are many warning signs or risks of uterine rupture that include:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding
- Prior cesarean delivery without a subsequent trial of labor
- Previous vaginal delivery with subsequent uterine rupture
- Abnormal fetal heart rate
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- An abdominal cavity lump where the fetus's body or placenta strikes the uterus
- Rapid maternal heart rate
- Abnormal previous cesarean section incision
- Maternal low blood pressure
- Maternal hemorrhage of the uterine wall
- Maternal severe loss of blood, including excessive vaginal bleeding
- Maternal bladder injuries
- Multiple cesarean deliveries (more than one previous cesarean delivery)
- A distended uterus from too much amniotic fluid
- Maternal anemia (a lack of sufficient healthy red blood cells)
- Obstructed labor
- Fetal hypoxia and anoxia(Oxygen deprivation from diminished blood supply)
- The fetus recedes during delivery due to a loss of muscle tone in the uterus
- Noticeable bulging under the mother's pubic bone
- Intense pain and significant discomfort between uterine contractions
- The baby's head recedes during delivery
- Spontaneous rupture of an unscarred uterus
- Spontaneous uterine rupture of a postmyomectomy gravid uterus
- Too much amniotic fluid from multiple fetuses
- Abnormal soreness and intense abdominal pain
- The pregnant female goes into shock
- Intense, sudden aching at a uterine scar from an earlier pregnancy
- Slower and decreasingly intense contractions
- Weakened uterine muscle tone
- Uterine anomalies, including fibroids
- Severe blood loss
- The fetal shock caused by internal hemorrhaging
- Injuries that lead to a hysterectomy
- Uterine ruptures occur in the uterine wall leading to infant hypoxia and anoxia
- Acidosis (excessive acid buildup in the baby's tissue and body fluids)
- Neonatal or fetal death is typically caused by anoxic brain injury or hemorrhage
- Maternal complications and death, typically because of excessive bleeding
A baby surviving a uterine tear in the woman's uterus often experiences developmental delays or suffers from congenital disabilities, including cerebral palsy caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery. Sometimes, the medical professionals must perform resuscitation when potentially fatal birth asphyxia (oxygen deprivation) occurs.
Mothers carrying multiple fetuses have a higher risk of uterine ruptures during attempted vaginal birth.
Uterine Rupture Risk Factors
Certain risk factors increase the potential risks of suffering from a uterine tear. A higher risk of uterine rupture includes:
- An earlier C-section or uterine surgery to remove fibroid tumors from the mother's uterus
- Grand multi-parity when women have birthed five or more children
- Prolong labor and delivery involving a larger than a typical child
- An earlier uterine injury, including those caused by trauma like a car accident, stabbing, or gunshot wound
- Experiencing muscular contractions or too close together caused by uncontrolled use of Pitocin or OxyContin
- A pregnancy involving multiple babies where excessive amniotic fluid creates a distended uterus
- Maternal obesity
- Women with metroplasty and myomectomy scars caused by the removal of uterus fibroids
- Expectant mothers who experienced earlier uterine trauma like from a problematic delivery using forceps
- Earlier uterine surgical procedures to treat gynecological or reproductive medical issues
- Women with uterine perforation scars caused by a transcervical or uterine procedure complication
- Women with scars caused by an earlier repair of a uterine tear
- Women with hysterectomy scars from a C-section when the newborn's shoulders were caught on the mother's pelvis (shoulder dystocia)
- Malpresentation when the baby is not traveling through the birth canal in a typical headfirst position. This condition involves breech delivery, or shoulder, face, or brow presentation
- CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion) when the mother's pelvis is not large enough to accommodate the delivering baby who cannot pass through the maternal birth canal
- Placental Abruption when the uterus separates from the placenta can entirely or partially stop the mother's blood flow circulation to the baby
- Macrostomia involving newborns that are substantially bigger than average
- Difficult labor (labor dystocia), especially near the end of the pregnancy
- History of fetal distress for the inability to physically tolerate labor and delivery
- Excessive vaginal bleeding during normal labor
- Delayed diagnosis of intrapartum uterine rupture leading to neonatal consequences
- Loss of fetal station
- Complications associated with intrauterine pressure catheters include uterine rupture, amnionitis, fetal vessel laceration, placental perforation of the uterine wall, and abruptio placentae
- Cocaine use
- Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
A trial of labor leading to a successful vaginal birth has significantly less morbidity risk than a typical scheduled cesarean delivery. Studies show that most uterine ruptures involve pregnant women.
Family physicians should avoid prescribing prostaglandins to induce labor due to the increased risk of uterine rupture. A trial of labor after a C-section can minimize the rate of future cesarean births in any subsequent pregnancy outcome.
Diagnosing a Uterine Rupture During a Vaginal Birth
Physicians are often challenged to diagnose a uterine rupture because many of the symptoms and indicators of a uterine rupture are nonspecific. However, the doctor can perform tests and monitoring to identify fetal distress, including a diminished heart rate.
Typically, an official diagnosis can be verified during surgery when the baby is removed in an emergency cesarean section. However, sometimes, the uterine rupture occurs during a vaginal delivery, requiring the medical staff to move quickly, performing an emergency cesarean section.
When the mother's uterine ruptures (obstetric hemorrhage) during the delivery process, the doctors monitor both the mother's well-being and the baby's health. If the doctors cannot get the bleeding under control or if the baby is in distress, mothers might require an emergency C-section to avoid severe consequences.
Then, if they still cannot get the bleeding under control after successful vaginal delivery, a hysterectomy might be required to save the mother.
Preventing Uterine Ruptures
The only known preventative measure to prevent a uterine rupture is to undergo a cesarean delivery to avoid vaginal birth. That said, women who still had a vaginal birth after experiencing a uterine rupture might have other options in the hands of a qualified doctor.
However, the physician should take a comprehensive medical and family history that documents every previous cesarean delivery or any other surgery on the mother's uterus.
Do I Have a Valid Uterine Rupture Lawsuit?
Your medical records could prove that your doctor's negligence led to a partial or complete uterine rupture. The medical negligence might have led to a childbirth injury or death of the child or mother.
In these cases, you might have a valid uterine rupture claim for compensation.
However, the evidence might not be obvious, which could make it difficult to file a lawsuit. Because of that, many families will hire an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in medical malpractice cases.
The attorney can investigate your uterine rupture claim and provide numerous legal options on how to proceed. Contact our law firm for a free initial consultation.
My Wife Died During Delivery. Do I Have a Case for Compensation?
Potential defendants in a uterine rupture malpractice lawsuit could include a driver causing a fatal accident, an emergency room doctor guilty of medical negligence, the expectant mother's obstetrician, the medical team, medical device manufacturers who sold faulty equipment, the hospital, and others.
Determining a Case's Worth (Sample Uterine Rupture Cases)
Like all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits, your compensation claim involves unique circumstances. Because of that, it isn't easy to know the exact worth of your uterine rupture case.
Recent jury verdicts and negotiated out-of-court settlements in recent court cases can show you what others have received for their losses.
$1,750,000 Negotiated Settlement
An expectant mother was taken to the hospital to undergo induced labor to deliver her child before the natural delivery. The obese mother presented numerous risk factors that could lead to a uterine rupture, including preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
The doctors moved to deliver the baby thirty-two minutes after the uterine rupture, causing the newborn to experience numerous potential complications, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE),cerebral palsy, and substantial vision and hearing problems.
The uterine rupture case was settled out of court between the defendant and plaintiff to avoid a jury trial.
$750,000 Negotiated Settlement
A pregnant woman entered a hospital to deliver her baby by vaginal birth. Approximately fourteen hours later, the doctors administered Pitocin to the expectant mother and gave her epidural anesthesia.
Over two hours later, after the administration of the Pitocin, the pregnant woman complained of experiencing severe abdominal pain.
The doctors performed an emergency C-section after diagnosing the mother with uterine rupture. During childbirth, the newborn was not breathing, and attempts by the medical team to revive the infant were unsuccessful.
The plaintiff and defendants settled the negligent uterine rupture case out of court for $750,000.
$400,000 Negotiated Settlement
An expectant mother with a history of a previous cesarean section arrived at the local hospital to deliver her baby. The pregnant woman's obstetrician (the defendant in the case) administered the mother Pitocin, an H2 medication that would induce her labor before the doctor took a nap.
While the obstetrician was asleep, the mother experienced a uterine rupture, which led to an emergency cesarean delivery. Unfortunately, the surgical intervention was unsuccessful.
The child was born with severe brain damage and succumbed to their condition four days later. As a result, both parties agreed to settle the negligent uterine rupture case for $400,000 instead of taking the lawsuit to trial.
Timely Response to Signs of Distress
Response time is of the essence in responding to a uterine rupture. Delayed response or diagnosis of a uterine rupture can threaten the lives of both the mother and baby. In particular, a medical team's delayed reaction may account for maternal and fetal consequences, including maternal morbidity or fetal bradycardia.
The risk factors of a Pitocin-induced uterine rupture are a common occurrence when doctors choose to induce labor to avoid complications.
However, the physician must weigh the benefits versus the risks of Pitocin induction, especially if the patient has uterine scarring, a lump in the abdomen, a previous uterine rupture, or a prior cesarean delivery.
To minimize the chance of uterine rupture, medical staff should conduct a complete health history of the mother and keep careful watch of the baby's fetal heart rate, as a deterioration in the heart rate may indicate a potential uterine rupture or hemorrhage leading to undesirable maternal and neonatal outcomes.
Not every intrapartum uterine rupture is related to a birth injury, although they could place the baby at risk during vaginal births, especially when the mother is labor induced.
Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys Handling Birth Injury Cases Involving Uterine Rupture
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys are keenly aware of the safety threats to a mother and baby during the labor and delivery process.
Were you, your spouse, or your child injured by a uterine rupture or hemorrhage during delivery? If so, our birth injury attorneys would be honored to discuss your legal options without charge or obligation.
As a plaintiff, you may be entitled to damages such as pain and suffering and medical bills necessary to treat your newborn during their life after suffering severe childbirth injuries.
Call our medical negligence law office today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our medical malpractice lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our birth injury lawyers serve clients throughout Illinois, including in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, and Winnebago County, and have handled many childbirth injury cases nationwide. If our medical malpractice trial lawyers cannot collect the compensation that you are entitled to under the law, there will be no charge for our services.
- National Institutes of Health – Uterine Rupture Outcomes
- Severe Risks of Uterine Ruptures
- Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Uterine Ruptures
Many medical malpractice cases have already been resolved through million-dollar settlements to ensure families have sufficient financial compensation for providing all the treatment and care their child requires.