Labor Induction and Pitocin
What Happens During Induced Labor?
A doctor can choose to induce labor for several reasons, including when a mother is beyond her due date, when a mother's water has broken but she is not experiencing contractions, or if she has hypertension or another reason to deliver the baby early. While induced labors have become very common, these kinds of deliveries can lead to many complications and birth injuries.
Pitocin—a synthetic version of oxytocin, the body’s natural hormone that produces contractions during labor—is administered in order to cause regular contractions to facilitate delivery. This hormone is administered as an infusion in gradual doses until the mother is experiencing regular interactions.
The contractions experienced during induced labor can be more forceful than those experienced during natural deliveries. Excessive doses of Pitocin can cause fetal distress, which is why medical staff should take the necessary precautions to ensure this drug is administered appropriately.
Induction can increase the risk that a cesarean section will be needed for fetal distress.
How Pitocin Leads to Birth Injuries
When too much Pitocin—or other drugs such as Cytotech, Cervidil, Oxytocin, or a prostiglandin—is administered, it can cause labor contractions to occur too closely together—sometimes less than two minutes apart (sometimes referred to as hyperstimulation or tachysystole). This may lead to birth asphyxia and severe injuries such as brain damage. Even the warning label that comes with every package of Pitocin sold throughout the United States expressly warns of the risks of “permanent CNS or brain damage” and “fetal death."
Since 2007, Pitocin (Oxytocin) has been classified by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) as one of only 12 drugs which are considered “High-Alert” medications. As described by ISMP, “High-alert medications are drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when they are used in error.”
The danger is that it can reduce the placenta’s ability to replenish the baby's oxygen supply leading to brain damage. Nonetheless, Pitocin is a drug that is commonly used throughout the United States for the purpose of causing stronger and more frequent contractions during labor.
It is the responsibility of the medical staff to ensure that Pitocin is administered correctly during labor or delivery. Unfortunately, it is all too often that physicians and nurses misuse Pitocin, are ignorant to its well-known dangers, and negligently cause harm to innocent babies and their families. At Beam Legal Team, we know the medicine and will fight for you to hold hospitals accountable for their misuse of dangerous drugs like Pitocin.
Pitocin is often administered in the following kinds of situations:
- To induce labor
- To control bleeding after childbirth
- To strengthen a mother's contractions
We at Beam Legal Team have handled many birth injury cases related to Pitocin. During our more than 30 years of experience, we have secured over one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for families whose children suffered birth injuries as a result of negligence, including the negligent administration of drugs such as Pitocin.
Chicago Attorneys Representing Clients Nationwide
At Beam Legal Team, our attorneys, located in Chicago, have represented clients from coast to coast who are caring for children with birth injuries. Upon investigation, we often find that these birth injuries were caused during an induced labor. If you suspect that your child's birth injury was caused by your induction, you need to consult with our firm immediately.
Our reputable Chicago lawyers understand how stressful it can be to care for your child's birth injury. Please remember that your child's birth injury is not your fault. We are here to help you take the necessary steps to seek justice on behalf of your child. Your child's future and well-being are extremely important to us. We proudly extend our services to clients living all over the country.
Looking for Skilled Representation? Turn to Beam Legal Team.
If you suspect that your child's birth injury is related to the Pitocin that was administered during labor, you need to consult with our caring and experienced legal team without delay. We can conduct a thorough investigation of your case with the help of medical analysts and experts. Our team of lawyers will help you determine if improper Pitocin administration caused your child's birth injury.
Call us at (866) 766-3806 for a free consultation.