At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, in Chicago, Illinois, we represent the parents of children who have been injured as a result of medical malpractice associated with the use of Pitocin/oxytocin to induce labor.
Many women are given the drug Pitocin in order to induce labor or speed it up. While the drug is useful in labor and delivery, it can cause serious problems. That is why Pitocin must be used by competent doctors and nurses in a careful and professional way.
Excessive Pitocin use can cause a number of serious injuries:
- Uterine rupture
- Premature separation of the placenta
- Post-birth hemorrhage
- Fetal asphyxia
- Neonatal hypoxia
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, which is a natural hormone produced by a woman’s body. While Pitocin is like a natural hormone, it isn’t exactly the same thing. Oxytocin is excreted by the body in short bursts, but Pitocin is often given by a regulated intravenous pump that provides a constant flow. As a result, labor after Pitocin can be fast, painful and hard.
Pitocin may cause fetal distress, so use of the drug requires continuous electronic fetal monitoring. It also increases a mother’s need for pain medication or an epidural anesthesia. As a result, labor contractions may become too strong and too close together, excessively decreasing blood flow (and oxygen) to the fetus.
Pitocin and Induction-Related Injuries
Induction of labor is a procedure where uterine contractions are stimulated by the administration of the oxytocin hormone with the goal of achieving a safe vaginal delivery of the baby before a woman’s body naturally goes into labor.
There are many situations where Pitocin is used to induce labor, and where that induction causes serious injury. For example, an expectant mother was given Pitocin to help induce labor, but the dosage caused unnecessary stress on her baby. Despite heart rate monitoring that showed the impact on the baby, the doctor continued to order Pitocin — even though most other doctors would have stopped. When the child was born, she had serious injuries that will impact her for the rest of her life.
Chicago Excessive Pitocin Injury Lawyers
If you think that Pitocin use may have been linked to your child’s birth injury, exploring your legal options is a good idea. For a free case review by an attorney who is also a medical doctor, contact us at (312) 346-8700. You may also contact us online.