Pitocin Induced Birth Injury
Pitocin is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone oxytocin. It is used to induce labor, decrease time between contractions, and speed up delivery.
While the benefits of Pitocin are considerable, serious birth injuries such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy may occur if healthcare professionals fail to take necessary precautions while using the drug. If your child was injured at birth due to improper use or prolonged exposure to Pitocin, talk to a birth injury attorney at Balkin & Eisbrouch to learn more about your legal rights. You and your child may have a strong case for medical malpractice.
What is Pitocin?
Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for naturally bringing about a woman’s labor. Pitocin acts like an extra dose of this hormone. The medication produces contractions that are longer and more intense than normal contractions and reduces time between contractions. In most cases, Pitocin safely and effectively expedites delivery. However, the drug is not without risks.
Intense contractions produced by Pitocin may result in too much compression on the baby. Less time between contractions may reduce the baby’s oxygen level.
Use of Pitocin carries certain risks including:
- Uterine rupture
- Fetal distress (hyoxia/low oxygen level)
- Changes in fetal heart rate
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalophathy
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain damage
- Post-birth hemorrhaging in the mother
The risk that a baby will sustain a Pitocin induced birth injury increases if:
- Too much Pitocin is used
- Fetal monitor used improperly
- Delayed reaction to signs of fetal distress
Pitocin birth injury lawsuit
Pitocin is meant to be used only in cases where the benefits of expedited delivery outweigh the risks of inducing labor. Pregnancies complicated by maternal health problems, signs of fetal distress, delayed labor, or a sudden medical emergency may provide ample reason to induce labor with Pitocin. When used correctly, the drug has a good safety record. However, Pitocin errors can be costly and it is often the baby who pays the ultimate price for medical negligence in the delivery room.
If you have a child that suffered from a birth injury related to Pitocin, and you believe medical malpractice is to blame, please contact the attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch for an evaluation of your case. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win compensation for you.