brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2018;98(5):272

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

To The Editor: In our urban, tertiary care university hospital, family physicians take obstetric calls alongside obstetricians, midwives, anesthesiologists, and teams of obstetric and family medicine residents. We present a case that demonstrates how this collaborative, multidisciplinary model provides effective care in obstetric emergencies.

Uterine rupture is a rare but potentially dangerous complication of trial of labor after cesarean, annually affecting 0.2% to 1.0% of cases worldwide.1

B.B. was a 33-year-old G3P1011 who presented to the hospital at 41 weeks' gestation for induction of labor. Her obstetric history included a spontaneous abortion at eight weeks in 2006 and a primary cesarean in Ethiopia in 2014 at 41 weeks for failure to progress. Records regarding her previous pregnancies and cesarean operative note were not obtained. Her physical examination was notable for an estimated fetal weight of 3,500 g (7 lb, 11 oz) and previous Pfannenstiel incision. She had received prenatal counseling regarding birth options. She had a previous calculated vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) score of 39%; on admission, her adjusted VBAC score was 48%.2,3

Her induction was initiated using oxytocin (Pitocin) and a Cook's cervical ripening balloon. Approximately 20 minutes after her cervix was fully dilated and effaced, she developed moderate left-sided lower abdominal pain, and the fetal heart rate became undetectable. Reexamination of the cervix showed loss of fetal station. She was taken to the operating room for an emergent repeat cesarean for suspected uterine rupture.

The patient was given general anesthesia, and a Pfannenstiel incision was made. The fetus was quickly delivered from the abdomen. Apgar scores were 4, 8, and 9 at one, five, and 10 minutes, respectively. The previous hysterotomy scar was noted to be open without additional uterine extensions. Estimated blood loss was 1,400 mL. She remained hemodynamically stable and did not require blood products. The time elapsed from diagnosis to delivery was nine minutes. The patient had an uncomplicated postpartum course and was discharged in stable condition on postoperative day 4.

This case report demonstrates a successful outcome from a complication often associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.4 Factors that may have increased the risk of uterine rupture include gestational age (41 weeks), unknown uterine incision and repair, and induction of labor.5,6

Email letter submissions to Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors. Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Letters may be edited to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, deputy editor.

Continue Reading

More in AFP

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.