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Women with prior Caesarean at risk of uterine rupture during labor


For immediate release
Date:    2001

Women who’ve had a Caesarean and who later attempt to deliver by labor are more likely to suffer a uterine rupture than women who go on to have a repeat Caesarean delivery, according to a University of Washington study published in the July 5 New England Journal of Medicine.

Uterine rupture is an uncommon, but serious, obstetrical condition that may result in hysterectomy, urologic injury or a need for blood transfusion for the mother, and neurologic impairment in the infant.

The study was done by Dr. Mona Lydon-Rochelle, senior research fellow in the Department of Family and Child Nursing in the School of Nursing and her colleagues Dr. Victoria L. Holt, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine Dr. Thomas R. Easterling, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology of the School of Medicine and Dr. Diane P. Martin, professor in the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, all at the University of Washington.

Researchers used data from the delivery records of 20,095 mothers who delivered a single live infant in Washington state from 1987 through 1996 and also delivered a second single infant during the same time period. They found that a total of 91 women had a uterine rupture during the second birth. Women with a spontaneous onset of labor were 3.3 times more likely to have a uterine rupture than women who had a repeat Caesarean delivery without labor. Women with non-prostaglandin induction of labor were nearly five times more likely to have a uterine rupture and women with prostaglandin induction were 15 times more likely to have a uterine rupture than women who had repeat Caesarean deliveries without labor.

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