Resuscitative hysterotomy is an emergency cesarean section operation performed during maternal cardiac arrest in order to increase chances of survival of the mother, the infant, or both.

It is indicated in the second half of pregnancy, when the uterine fundus is above the level of the umbilicus.

Decompressing the uterus can improved maternal ventilation and circulation during CPR and improve the chances of return of spontaneous circulation.


This video shows training in the procedure 



Further Reading

Parry R, Asmussen T, Smith JE.

Perimortem caesarean section.

Emerg Med J. 2015 Feb 24

Rose CH, Faksh A, Traynor KD, Cabrera D, Arendt KW, Brost BC.

Challenging the 4-5 Minute Rule: From Perimortem Cesarean to Resuscitative Hysterotomy.

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jul 23

Bloomer R, Reid C, Wheatley R.

Prehospital resuscitative hysterotomy.

Eur J Emerg Med. 2011 Aug;18(4):241–2

See also:



Resuscitation Medicine from Dr Cliff Reid