Misuse of Pitocin Can Cause Birth Injury and Uterine Rupture

Not every woman’s labor is ideal. Some women need medication to help start (induce) labor or manage the length of time the woman is in labor. It is relatively common for pregnant women to be administered Pitocin (or its generic, oxytocin) to manage labor. Pitocin stimulates the uterus, helping to produce contractions. The problem is that Pitocin can take up to 40 minutes to fully kick in.

Contractions during labor occur in a “squeeze and release” pattern of uterine muscle tightening followed by uterine muscle relaxation. Ideally, Pitocin helps establish and maintain a healthy pattern of uterine contractions during labor but, if the wrong amount of Pitocin is delivered, or this medication is introduced too quickly, it can overstimulate the uterus and cause dangerous contractions harmful to both the baby and the mother.

If the mother is experiencing too many contractions or those contractions are too strong or last too long, the baby’s oxygen supply could be interrupted, causing fetal distress. If a shortage of oxygen (hypoxia) also causes the fetal heart rate to slow (ischemia) the infant has suffered a hypoxic-ischemic episode. If the oxygen and blood flow to the baby’s brain are interrupted during labor and delivery, even if the interruption is only for a short time, the baby may suffer a type of permanent brain damage called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE.

Hypoxic birth injuries can cause:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cognitive Disabilities
  • Severe Seizures
  • Behavioral Disorders

Less often, the over stimulation of the uterus with Pitocin, or Oxycontin, can cause a uterine rupture, endangering bot the mother and the baby and requiring emergency c-section to immediately deliver the baby and repair or remove (hysterectomy) the mother’s ruptured uterus.

Complications due to the administration of Pitocin during childbirth are the cause of preventable injury and death. Our experienced attorneys fight for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the negligence of others. If you would like to discuss a potential claim arising from a birth or birth-related injury, the attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. For a free consultation, please call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529.)

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights