If you have given birth or you plan to in the future, you’ve probably heard about Pitocin. Pitocin is a synthetic hormone that can help induce or speed up labor. Most moms are all too happy to give birth, after over nine long months of pregnancy—but if a doctor is careless when administering Pitocin, it can have serious repercussions.
In most cases, Pitocin is used properly. It helps speed labor along until contractions are about two to three minutes apart, and then the doctors can decide whether to continue usage or taper off while labor continues naturally.
Most doctors elect to use it when the risks of the baby staying in the womb outweigh the risks of inducing labor. However, some negligent doctors have been known to use higher levels of Pitocin in the hopes of getting the baby out, so they can go home and rest.
Risks of Using Pitocin During Delivery
When used properly, Pitocin is perfectly safe. However, there risks involved with every delivery. Use of Pitocin can result in:
- Uterine rupture. This is especially common if the mother has a previous cesarean section scar.
- Fetus overstimulation. Your baby can get easily overstimulated, because they cannot rest in between contractions.
- Postpartum hemorrhage. This is probably due to the fact that oxytocin is naturally released in spurts, which helps along contractions and allows the mother’s body to heal. Pitocin is released in a steady stream.
- Fetal distress and a drop in heart rate. Your baby may suffer from low oxygen, which can lead to cerebral palsy, or a drop in heart rate, which can at times be fatal.
Was Your Safety Violated During Your Pitocin Induction?
As you can see, there are serious risks involved in using Pitocin for an induction. Most times they can be well-managed if Pitocin is medically necessary and your doctors are paying attention. However, many doctors and hospitals are quick to use Pitocin in order to speed things up.
About half of women who give birth are induced these days, and Pitocin is the most common method. If you’re planning to give birth soon, watch how often the hormone is administered. The first dose can take up to 40 minutes to take effect, and should be administered no more frequently than every 20 minutes. If your doctor seems to be using Pitocin to get it over with, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.
Talk to an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case
If you or your infant have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today to learn more about your legal options.