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Reprod Health. 2013 May 29;10:29. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-10-29.

Uterine rupture in a teaching hospital in Mbarara, western Uganda, unmatched case- control study.



Uterine rupture is one of the most devastating complications of labour that exposes the mother and foetus to grave danger hence contributing to the high maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity in Uganda. Every year, 6000 women die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, uterine rupture accounts for about 8% of all maternal deaths.


Case-control design of women with uterine rupture during 2005-2006. Controls were women who had spontaneous vaginal delivery or were delivered by caesarean section without uterine rupture as a complication. For every case, three consecutive in-patient chart numbers were picked and retrieved as controls. All available case files, labour ward and theater records were reviewed.


A total of 83 cases of uterine rupture out of 10940 deliveries were recorded giving an incidence of uterine rupture of 1 in 131 deliveries. Predisposing factors for uterine rupture were previous cesarean section delivery(OR 5.3 95% CI 2.7-10.2), attending < 4 antenatal visits (OR 3.3 95% CI 1.6-6.9), parity ≥ 5(OR 3.67 95% CI 2.0-6.72), no formal education (OR 2.0 95% CI 1.0-3.9), use of herbs (OR15.2 95% CI 6.2-37.0), self referral (OR 6.1 95% CI 3.3-11.2) and living in a distance >5 km from the facility (OR 10.86 95% CI 1.46-81.03). There were 106 maternal deaths during the study period giving a facility maternal mortality ratio of 1034 /100,000 live births, there were 10 maternal deaths due to uterine rupture giving a case fatality rate of 12%.


Uterine rupture still remains one of the major causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in Mbarara Regional referral Hospital in Western Uganda. Promotion of skilled attendance at birth, use of family planning among those at high risk, avoiding use of herbs during pregnancy and labour, correct use of partograph and preventing un necessary c-sections are essential in reducing the occurrences of uterine rupture.

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