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How Can Induced Labor Through Pitocin Use Lead to Birth Injuries?

Posted on in Birth Injury

Chicago medical malpractice attorney birth injury

Even though childbirth is a commonplace event, it can still be dangerous. Multiple different types of complications can occur during labor and delivery, and they should be addressed properly to prevent birth injuries to children or maternal injuries to the mother. One issue that can increase the risk of injury is the use of drugs to induce labor if a woman does not go into labor on her own, and it is past her due date. While Pitocin is commonly used for this purpose, it has been found to cause complications related to hyperstimulation of the uterus.

When Is Pitocin Used?

Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which induces contractions in the uterus. Pitocin may be used to induce labor in pregnancies that have progressed beyond 40 weeks, and it may also be administered to speed up labor or help avoid complications if labor has stalled. Pitocin will only be effective if a mother’s cervix is favorable for labor and has begun to soften and dilate.

During labor, oxytocin is released from the pituitary gland in pulses, causing contractions to occur regularly while allowing the uterus to rest in between contractions. Pitocin, on the other hand, is administered in a continuous dose through an IV. To avoid hyperstimulation of the uterus, it should initially be administered at a low dose, and the dose can be increased after observing how the mother responds. Fetal monitoring should be used while Pitocin is administered, and doctors and nurses should be prepared to respond quickly to any signs of fetal distress.

Potential Dangers of Pitocin Use

In many cases, the contractions that occur when a mother is receiving Pitocin will be longer, stronger, and closer together than those that occur during “natural” labor. Contractions restrict blood flow in the placenta, which can disrupt the child’s ability to receive oxygen. Hyperstimulation of the uterus can result in asphyxia, which can cause damage to the child’s brain and lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy.

The strong contractions caused by Pitocin can also lead to a number of other complications that may cause injuries to the child and the mother. In some cases, uterine rupture may occur, and a mother may experience severe post-partum hemorrhaging. Pitocin may also cause a mother to suffer injuries due to electrolyte imbalances, cardiac arrhythmia, or hypertension. Medical personnel should be on the lookout for potential complications, and they should act quickly to intervene if issues arise that threaten the life or health of the mother or child. If necessary, a Cesarean delivery may need to be performed.

Contact an Illinois Pitocin Injury Lawyer

If you or your child have suffered harm during childbirth, you will want to understand whether the improper use of Pitocin may have played a role in your injury. At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, we can help you determine what factors caused your injury, and we will explain your options for receiving financial assistance to help you and your child receive the treatment you need to recover. To arrange a free consultation, contact our Chicago birth injury attorneys by calling 312-462-4200 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/pitocin-induction

https://chriskresser.com/natural-childbirth-vi-pitocin-side-effects-and-risks/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18667171/

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