We are honest, experienced, Illinois attorneys who will talk to you for free and/or help you find the right lawyer. If you would like our help, please call us any time at 312-346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we will call you.
For couples expecting a baby, there are several overwhelming feelings a parent will feel throughout the 9 months of the pregnancy. By the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, most new moms are emotionally ready to give birth, but their bodies are also physically ready too.
Nature is good at controlling most aspects of labor, but sometimes nature could use a nudge. Inducing labor is the stimulation of uterine contractions during pregnancy before labor begins on its own to achieve a vaginal birth.
There are many different ways that labor can be induced, including being given the drug Pitocin to strengthen contractions. A woman’s body naturally produces oxytocin, the hormone the body uses to induce contractions. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin.
Nature typically prepares the cervix for delivery in the most efficient, comfortable way. However, if a health care provider is concerned about the health of the mother or the baby, inducing labor might be the best option. There are several reasons why inducing labor might be recommended. For example:
- Labor hasn’t started naturally as one has approached two weeks beyond their due date
- Labor hasn’t begun even after a woman’s water has broken
- There is an infection in the uterus
- The baby has stopped growing at the expected pace
- There is not enough amniotic fluid surrounding the baby
- New mother is diabetic or has a high blood pressure disorder
Pitocin may be used to start, strengthen, and make contractions more frequent. In other situations, it may be used to induce contractions if a pregnant woman does not go into labor on time, her contractions are weak or there are other complications.
Unfortunately, Pitocin also has some pretty heavy risks and is most commonly associated with preventable adverse events during childbirth. Both the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Food and Drug Administration have high alert warnings against Pitocin due to the uncertainty of its benefits compared with its risks.
If the Pitocin is used improperly it can cause contractions to be too strong or too frequent, with little rest in between. When this happens, the baby is at risk of not getting enough oxygen, suffering from birth asphyxia which, in-turn, can cause subsequent brain damage or even fatality. In addition, the mother can suffer extreme pain, cervical or vaginal lacerations, uterine rupture and postpartum hemorrhage.
In a recent Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit, a family was awarded $14 million who negligently gave Pitocin and didn’t monitor the contractions. Their failure to act lead to a delay in the delivery and ultimately severe brain damage.
There are strict guidelines for the use of Pitocin and is mandatory medical professionals follow the strict guidelines to only administer Pitocin when absolutely necessary. If medical staff do not follow the proper guidelines and an injury occurs, it is medical malpractice. If you suspect your child’s birth injury is a result from the misuse of Pitocin, contact us today for a free consultation.