Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin, a hormone that is released during labor to cause uterine contractions. The drug is used in cases where labor induction or increased contractions are needed, either due to prolonged labor or other medical complications.
There are serious risks to using the drug so it is only suggested to be used in circumstances where it is deemed necessary. The drug has been under scrutiny on whether it can cause harm to the fetus and mother even under correct usage. However, there is a definite risk to the child when medical errors occur, putting the child at risk for permanent injury and even death.
Use Of Pitocin In Labor Induction
The use of pitocin for labor induction has become controversial. A recent study performed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York showed a correlation between the use of the drug and babies that are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit and have a low APGAR score, which is a test of the babies health once outside the womb. Although there are no conclusions yet, more studies are being conducted on the safety of this drug.
Regardless of speculation on the drugs general safety, much is already known about the dangers of Pitocin when not properly administered. The drug has serious risks for both the mother and fetus, requiring close monitoring of the mother and fetus for distress. When the drug is given in too high of dosage, the wrong situation or not monitored properly, the mother may suffer the following effects:
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Pelvic hematoma
- Rupture of the uterus
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Risk To Infant Due To Pitocin Errors
All the risks for the mother can have severe consequences for the unborn child. In addition, an overdose of the drug can affect the child even if it does not harm the mother. An overdose can slow the fetus heart beat, cause fetus hypoxia (lack of oxygen), hepatic necrosis (liver failure) and death. If the child survives, they may have permanent injuries that can affect the rest of their lives including:
- Brain damage from lack of oxygen
- Cerebral Palsy from lack of oxygen
- Liver damage
- Heart problems
Since the use of this drug can have such severe side effects, the medical staff should be administering it with supreme caution. Unfortunately, many times the drug is used in circumstances that are not recommended, with too high of dosage or with improper monitoring. These errors can lead to both the child and the mother put in danger.Birth Injury Attorney Handling Cases Involving Labor Induction Errors Using Pitocin
Many children have died or been left with permanent injuries due to errors using Pitocin to induce labor. If you have lost a child or have a child with injuries from the misuse of this drug, you and your family have the right to seek compensation for your loss and medical expenses. When a medical error causes an injury, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we specialize in both medical malpractice and specifically birth injury cases. We want to meet with you to hear your story, with no cost to you. If together we decide to pursue a medical malpractice case, you will not be charged for our services unless we recover a financial award for your case. We understand how difficult these types of injuries can be and we will handle your case with empathy and dignity. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Information about the safe administration of Pitocin: