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Pitocin Birth Injury

sonogram of pregnant bellyThe New York medical malpractice attorneys at The Sanders Firm passionately fight for those harmed by negligence on the part of delivery room personnel, including those who have suffered a pitocin-induced birth injury. When parents arrive at the hospital for the delivery of a child, a drug-induced complication is the last thing they expect. But the widely-used labor drug Pitocin can put mothers & newborns at an increased risk for serious and even fatal complications.

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out whether you can recover a settlement or award for a doctor’s negligence, speak with an experienced NY birth injury lawyer at The Sanders Firm about filing a lawsuit.

Rules limit when and where an injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit; lawyers from The Sanders Firm can evaluate your claim and walk you through the process with knowledge and compassion. We charge no fees unless we win your case, and we will do everything in our power to make sure your child receives maximum compensation for his or her injuries.

What is Pitocin?

During labor, a woman’s body naturally produces the hormone oxytocin, which causes the contractions that push her baby into the world. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin that is sometimes given intravenously to induce or speed up labor.

One of the key differences between pitocin and oxytocin is the way they are delivered. A mother’s body releases oxytocin in waves, allowing her body and the baby’s to recover between contractions. Pitocin, by contrast, is fed in a steady stream.

The dangers of Pitocin

The constant and strong contractions that pitocin produces are more stressful than the natural contractions brought on by oxytocin. The result can be disastrous for the baby, causing fetal distress and lowered heart rate. According to a 2013 study by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pitocin use is associated with low Apgar scores and increased risk for an unexpected stay in the NICU.

Some of the problems cause by pitocin include:

  • Jaundice
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Permanent brain damage

Courts and juries recognize the danger of Pitocin errors

In 2012, the State of Iowa paid $3.75 million to settle a case for a baby’s brain injury. The child’s mother was given pitocin to speed up delivery, but instead it prolonged labor to 28 hours and caused her newborn son to suffer severe head trauma and mental retardation.

In 2007, a Texas jury awarded more than$16 million in damages against a hospital for a nurse’s negligent administration of pitocin. Even though the doctor did not prescribe it, the nurse gave the mother pitocin to augment labor. The mother’s uterus soon ruptured and the child suffered severe neurological injuries.

Why is Pitocin used?

Pitocin is mainly used in two situations. Doctors use it to prevent complications from a prolonged labor, or to prevent complications when there are conditions like preeclampsia, diabetes, placental abruption, or high blood pressure that make continuing the pregnancy dangerous for mother and child.

A common myth is that using pitocin will prevent c-sections. But studies show that despite the risks of pitocin, a mother is no less likely to need a c-section if she is given the drug. Even with widespread use of pitocin, nearly one third of all U.S. births are by cesarean.

A growing problem is that doctors and others are turning to pitocin for convenience. Elective, or “social”, inductions are scheduled around vacations and holidays. These scheduled inductions are risky and can cause excess bleeding and longer hospital stays for mother and child.

Compensation for birth injury malpractice

When doctors or nurses commit errors in pitocin administration, there may be compensation available for both the injured newborn and his or her family. In birth injury cases, recovery has included pain and suffering and medical expenses, as well as future lost wages. Families of the injured child may be able to recover for the lost income of a parent who must leave a job to care for the child, the parent’s pain and suffering, and medical expenses that the parent has incurred as a result of the child’s condition.

To recover for a pitocin birth injury, an injured party must prove that the healthcare provider did not meet the required standard of care in providing treatment, and that this failure caused the injury. He or she must also prove that the losses were substantially caused by the injury. NY birth injury lawyers at The Sanders Firm know how to prove your case to help you recover.

NY birth injury attorneys at The Sanders Firm are on your side

If you or your baby has suffered because of delivery complications, you need skilled New York medical malpractice lawyers who can identify whether the injuries could have been prevented. Lawyers at The Sanders Firm work side-by-side with medical and financial experts to analyze your injury and present your best case.

Do not let the fear of legal bills keep you from asserting your rights by filing a birth injury lawsuit in New York City or Long Island. The Sanders Firm will review your case for free. If you choose to retain us, you owe nothing unless we recover a monetary award or settlement for you and your family.

Birth injuries can be devastating. They can change the lives of birth parent and child forever. If you suspect that your child’s birth injury was caused by a doctor or nurse’s negligence, call The Sanders Firm to find out how we can help you through a difficult time.

  1. Huffington Post, Pitocin Risks? Study Raises Concern About Drug\'s Safety During Childbirth, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/pitocin-risks_n_3224811.html

  2. ACOG, Study Finds Adverse Effects of Pitocin in Newborns, https://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2013/Study_Finds_Adverse_Effects_of_Pitocin_in_Newborns

  3. Web MD, Labor Induction and Augmentation, https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/labor-induction-and-augmentation-topic-overview

  4. CDC, Births — Method of Delivery, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/delivery.htm

  5. University of Rochester Medical Center, Scheduled Deliveries Raise Risks for Mothers, Do Not Benefit Newborns, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3120

  6. Chris Kesser, Natural childbirth VI: Pitocin side effects and risks, https://chriskresser.com/natural-childbirth-vi-pitocin-side-effects-and-risks

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