Birth Injuries from Pitocin

 Posted on November 22, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

IL injury lawyerWhen you are in labor, you trust that your physician will make the best choices on your behalf. If your labor is not moving along as planned, a doctor may administer Pitocin. 

A commonly used drug to induce labor, 50% of women are given Pitocin to speed up the birthing process in the United States.

While Pitocin comes with benefits, you should be aware of the risks associated with Pitocin induction. If you were administered Pitocin during labor and your child suffered birth injuries, you need to speak with a Chicago birth injury attorney

What is Pitocin and Why is it Used?

Oxytocin causes a woman’s uterine muscles to contract during the labor and delivery process by triggering the body to release prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that increase the frequency and intensity of contractions during labor. 

Of course, labor and delivery do not always go as planned, and if your labor is not progressing quickly, your OB/GYN may decide to induce you with Pitocin, which can help kickstart uterine contractions. 

Pitocin and Hyperstimulation

No drug comes without risks, and Pitocin is no exception. During labor, the uterus contracts in order to ease your baby down the birth canal. Each time you experience a contraction, the placenta is compressed, depriving the baby of oxygen and nutrients momentarily. 

Pitocin has the side effect of hyperstimulation, meaning that the uterus may start contracting too often and too intensely, depriving the baby of oxygen for long periods of time. This may result in contractions with as little as two minutes of rest time in between. If a doctor does not administer the correct dosage, the risk of infant death increases.

Birth Defects from Pitocin-Induced Labor

Since Pitocin carries the risk of depriving the baby of oxygen during delivery, the following birth defects may result:

Brain Injury

A baby that is deprived of oxygen may experience damage to the brain that results in a brain injury. When brain function is compromised, an infant may experience seizures and/or tremors, an arched back while crying, excessive drooling, and difficulty eating or swallowing.

Cerebral Palsy

A condition that affects muscle movement in the body. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage before or during childbirth. Cerebral palsy symptoms may present when a child is just a few months old and may involve difficulties not being able to lift the head, feeling floppy like a rag doll, overly stiff legs and arms, and other issues with motor function.

Heart Problems

When blood flow is compromised, a baby may experience a decreased heart rate or an irregular heartbeat. Infants that were exposed to Pitocin exhibit lower APGAR scores, which evaluates a baby’s overall clinical status post-birth.

A Chicago birth injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case to determine what compensation may be available. 

Did Your Child Suffer a Birth Injury Due to Pitocin? Our Chicago, IL, Birth Injury Attorneys Can Help

No child should be brought into this world with deficits. If you were given Pitocin during labor and your child experienced a birth injury, you need the legal assistance of our Chicago, IL, birth injury attorneys. Contact Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC today online or by calling 312-236-6324 to schedule your free consultation. 

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