Pitocin Errors and Labor Induction Malpractice

The prescription medication Pitocin is being used to indue labor.When a mother is about to give birth, her body naturally knows what it should do. It prepares the body for childbirth, releasing hormones that begin labor. However, sometimes it does not go as it should be. Contractions are irregular, and labor needs a little nudge to start. Inducing labor stimulates the contractions so that labor can start.  Using Pitocin to induce labor is sometimes used and there are risks if the doctor does does not administer it correctly including many different type of birth injuries. Labor induction can be suggested by your health care provider for the following reasons:

  • You’re almost two weeks past your due date, and your labor has not started yet.
  • Your water broke, yet labor has not started.
  • Infection in the uterus
  • The baby has stopped growing
  • Amniotic fluid is low
  • You are diabetic
  • You have a high blood pressure
  • Placental abruption
  • Existing medical conditions

What is Pitocin Induction?

Pitocin is the synthetic version of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone that helps the uterus to contract and begin labor. It was discovered and synthesized in 1955. Pitocin is administered through an IV. Your healthcare provider will gradually raise the level of the synthetic hormone that goes into your body until you have regular contractions. It wakes your uterine muscles up, encouraging contractions. The contractions are needed to make the cervix dilate, to make way for the baby.

What are the Risks of Incorrect Use of Pitocin for Induction?

Some risks come with using Pitocin to induce labor. If not administered correctly, Pitocin can be dangerous instead of being helpful. Pitocin errors can result in the following:

  • Over-stimulation of the uterus

Since Pitocin triggers contraction, over-stimulation can actually be harmful. Too many contractions in a short time can harm the baby. When the uterine wall contracts, the flow of blood to the placenta is decreased. The oxygen that the baby needs come in the flow of maternal blood to the placenta. This is the reason why too many contractions are not good for the baby.

  • Uterine rupture

When the contractions are too intense, it can tear the uterine wall of the mother. This is extremely rare, and with women who’s had a C-section before, the risk of rupture increases with Pitocin induction.

  • Increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage

Postpartum hemorrhage is the excessive bleeding following childbirth. Excessive blood loss can cause a severe drop in the mother’s blood pressure and can lead to shock or even death.

Effects of Pitocin Errors to the Newborn Baby

The risks that a mother faces due to Pitocin errors can have adverse effects on the baby too. An overdose of Pitocin may not adversely affect the mother, but it can certainly harm the unborn baby. The negative side effects of Pitocin errors to the baby may include the following:

  • Fetal Distress
  • Weaker fetal heart rate or fetal heart abnormalities
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Heart problems
  • Liver failure
  • Infant Brain damage
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neonatal Jaundice
  • Neonatal Retinal Hemorrhage
  • Low APGAR scores
  • Umbilical Cord Problems
  • Fetal Death

The use of Pitocin for labor induction should be done with extreme care and caution. The severe side effects due to incorrect Pitocin administration can have lasting and devastating consequences to both mother and child. Pitocin must only be used when extremely necessary and with careful monitoring. Careless use of Pitocin can have severe health effects, and can sometimes even cause death. It must only be used when it is medically necessary, and for the safety of both the mother and the baby.

Pitocin should be initiated at a low dosage. Once administered, the mother and the baby must both be monitored closely. Intrauterine pressure must be monitored to determine the contractions of the uterus, and to make sure that Pitocin overdose is avoided. Improper use of labor-inducing drugs can have severe results, so the medical team must be experienced and must follow standards in Pitocin administration.

You Can File for Compensation for Pitocin Errors

Pitocin errors have caused injuries on countless babies, and have sometimes even brought them death. Many mothers have also suffered due to incorrect administration of Pitocin for induction of labor. If you or a family member has suffered due to the misuse of Pitocin and the carelessness of your health care provider, you have the right to seek compensation. You can get compensated for the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Disability

The Clark Law Office is here to help you get the compensation that you deserve. We have helped hundreds of families get just compensation for medical errors and malpractices. The coming of a new child should be a moment of joy, but can take disastrous turns because of the errors of health care providers. Let our Pitocin errors lawyers help you develop and pursue a medical malpractice case. Contact us today at +1 (517) 347-6900 or e-mail info@theclarklawoffice.com for inquiries.