A ruptured uterus in a pregnant woman not in labor
Reducing maternal mortality constitutes one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. While significant progress has been made, system issues and professional training continue to affect maternal survival, especially when unusual, but deadly, complications arise. This rare case of survival after the rupture of an unscarred uterus in a grand multiparous woman from a remote village in Ghana illustrates how systemic transportation issues and limited access to advanced medical care put women with obstetric complications at risk. The usual clinical presentation of ruptured uteri and methods to prevent this catastrophic event are discussed. This case illustrates the systemic transportation issue that often limits access to prenatal and emergency care throughout much of the developing world and demonstrates how advanced training for emergency nurses and the use of ultrasound diagnosis can expedite difficult diagnoses and lead to maternal survival, even in the most adverse circumstances.
Key words: Pregnancy, grand multiparity, ruptured uterus, ultrasound diagnosis, nurse education, Ghana