Pitocin Birth Injury
Doctors dealing with difficult deliveries will often induce the expectant mother with Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin hormone) to encourage contractions, labor, and delivery. Unfortunately, Pitocin labor induction drug misuse could result in fetal distress, leading to numerous birth injuries.
Did your baby suffer a birth injury related to labor induction or Pitocin error when your labor was induced? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, the personal injury attorneys know the catastrophic risks of prescribing Pitocin to treat prolonged labor and the mistakes made during induced labor and delivery.
Call our birth injury law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your medical malpractice case. Our experienced birth injury attorneys represent mothers, babies, and families who have suffered because of medical malpractice problems when doctors induce labor and delivery.
Pitocin Use to Induce Labor
Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin, a natural hormone the body produces during labor to cause uterine contractions. The synthetic hormone is used when labor induction or increased Pitocin-induced contractions are needed, either due to prolonged labor or other medical complications.
Medical experts use Pitocin, the synthetic form of the natural hormone oxytocin, to induce labor and help facilitate the delivery process so that a cesarean section would be unnecessary. However, there are severe risks to using the drug due to Pitocin errors, so it is only suggested to be used in circumstances where it is deemed necessary to avoid birth injuries.
Inducing labor using the synthetic drug has been scrutinized because of the harm it could cause the family if the mother was injured or the child suffered a birth injury caused by Pitocin errors. Therefore, medical doctors should be reluctant to use Pitocin in most cases to avoid putting the child at risk for permanent serious injuries or death.
Experienced Lawyers for Lawsuits Regarding Injuries in the Induction of Labor
If your infant has suffered an injury during childbirth or if you have been harmed after using the drug Pitocin, you could file a lawsuit against the health care provider.
Medical professionals must uphold a standard of care in their practice, and if they breach that standard, you can file a medical malpractice claim. Contact the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation.
Why Inducing Labor Might Make Sense
Labor induction using medications like Pitocin stimulates uterine contractions during pregnancy but before labor starts. Thus, inducing the mother during the labor process helps achieve a vaginal birth.
Typically, the woman's body prepares her cervix for delivery in the most natural, comfortable way. However, inducing labor might be the only option when the due date has long since passed, the pregnancy has complications, or the baby's health is compromised.
Waiting too long, over 42 weeks, could cause a decrease in amniotic fluid and an increased risk of birthing a (fetal macrosomia) newborn significantly bigger and heavier than average. In addition, waiting too long to birth the child increases the potential of needing a C-section to avoid other complications, including meconium aspiration (fetal inhalation of fecal waste) or stillbirth.
A doctor may recommend labor induction for various reasons, including:
- Uterus infection
- The mother's water broke, but labor has not yet started
- The pregnancy is almost two weeks past the due date, and yet labor has not started
- The fetus is no longer growing
- There are low amounts of amniotic fluid in the womb
- The mother has diabetes or has high blood pressure
- The doctor has diagnosed placental abruption
- The mother or child has existing medical conditions
Data reveals that induction rates have increased significantly over the last few decades. But unfortunately, many medical professionals fail to encourage women to prepare for the final days and weeks of pregnancy and develop confidence that their bodies and newborns will be ready for labor and delivery.
While women know that labor can start spontaneously, a doctor's recommendation for inducing labor might alter the normal birthing process and increase the potential of childbirth injuries, serious complications, and maternal death.
Use of Pitocin in Labor Induction
The proper use of the synthetic hormone Pitocin causes the uterus to contract during the birthing process, where increased contractions for labor induction are necessary. However, the use of Pitocin by the medical team for labor induction in a pregnant woman has become controversial.
A recent study performed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York showed a correlation between labor induction and Pitocin use with babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit with a low Apgar score.
The Apgar score is a test of the baby's health once outside the womb. Although the test found no conclusions, more studies are being conducted on healthcare providers using the synthetic hormone Pitocin during the labor process.
Regardless of speculation on the general safety of the drug Pitocin, much is already known about the dangers of the drug when not correctly administered to pregnant women. The improper use of Pitocin has serious risks for both the mother and unborn baby, requiring close monitoring of the mother and child for distress.
When there is too much of the drug used during the birthing process, administered by the medical staff for the wrong situation, or not appropriately monitored for labor induction, the mother's body could suffer the following effects:
- Painful contractions
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Pelvic hematoma
- Placental abruption when the placenta detaches from the uterus
- Uterine rupture
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Water intoxication
- Post-delivery hemorrhaging
- Premature cervix laceration
A mother experiencing any one of the above conditions could create a need for an immediate C-section to avoid further labor induction and Pitocin errors. In addition, inducing labor could lead to medical errors that could compromise the mother's well-being leaving her with severe injuries or even death.
Risk to Infant Due to Pitocin Errors
A medical professional administering Pitocin to the mother could create severe consequences for the unborn child. When too much Pitocin is used during induced labor, the overdose can affect the child, even if it does not harm the mother.
Too much Pitocin can slow the fetus heartbeat, cause fetus hypoxia (lack of oxygen), hepatic necrosis (liver failure), and death. In addition, if the child survives the induced labor, they may have permanent injuries that can affect the rest of their lives, including:
- Hypoxic or anoxic brain damage from lack of oxygen
- Cerebral palsy from lack of oxygen
- Liver damage
- Heart problems
Labor-induced use of Pitocin can have severe side effects even when administered correctly. Therefore, health care professionals should be administering the medication with utmost caution. Unfortunately, many times the drug is used in circumstances that are not recommended, with too high of a dosage or improper monitoring.
Medical doctors should know that Pitocin errors when inducing labor could harm both mother and child during and after childbirth. For example, a lack of oxygen from restricted blood flow can lead to catastrophic hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) to the newborn baby during induced labor, causing cerebral palsy, brain damage, other serious complications, and death.
Birth Injury Attorney Handling Medical Malpractice 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. Did you lose a child or birth 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. Federal and State laws hold healthcare professionals responsible for medical negligence by providing legal remedies for injured victims to receive just compensation for their damages.
A Chicago medical malpractice attorney committed to obtaining justice on behalf of their clients can hold doctors accountable when too much protestant is administered, leading to preventable birth injuries and death.
Legal Advice for Your Medical Malpractice Case About Induction and Pitocin Use
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our birth injury lawyers specialize in medical malpractice and birth injury cases. We want to meet with you to hear the story concerning the mother and baby at 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. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning if we cannot secure financial compensation for your family, you owe us nothing.
Call our law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our birth injury lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. So let us begin working on your case today to help pay your medical bills and provide you with funds for your child's temporary or permanent disabilities.
Any immediate family member who lost a loved one can file a wrongful death lawsuit to ensure they receive adequate compensation for all of their losses. We understand how difficult these types of injuries can be, and we will handle your case with empathy and dignity.
Many medical malpractice cases have already been resolved through million-dollar settlements to ensure families have sufficient financial compensation for providing all the treatment and caring their child requires.