Emergency obstetric subtotal hysterectomy was performed in 11 women over a 20-year period in the University Central Hospital of Tampere. The incidence of these operations was 1 in 7,623 deliveries. During this period the incidence of uterine rupture was 1 in 13,976 deliveries. The other indications included placenta accreta, atonic postpartum haemorrhage and haemorrhage during caesarean section. There were no maternal deaths or major complications. The authors recommend safe subtotal hysterectomy operation of choice in these emergency cases.