Pitocin Birth Injury
Pitocin Birth Injury
The 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:
- Retinal hemorrhage
- Central nervous system damage
- Permanent brain damage
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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.
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.
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.
At The Sanders Law Firm, Success Is A Tradition
Founded in 1967, The Sanders Law Firm has flourished into one of New York’s most successful personal injury practices, with an accomplished team of attorneys, paralegals, health care consultants, and support staff. Our trial attorneys take new cases on a contingency basis, which means there is no cost to the client unless we secure monetary damages on your behalf.
Our personal injury law firm continues to make its industry-leading legal services even better, and hire attorneys and staff that enable us to serve a more diverse population.
At The Sanders Firm, there is never any charge to evaluate your case. We have helped thousands of injured clients throughout New York City, Long Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and we’re prepared to help you too. In just the last five years we have procured over $100 million dollars on behalf of our clients, thanks to our vast resources and experienced attorneys. Our personal injury law firm continues to make its industry-leading legal services even better, and hire attorneys and staff that enable us to serve a more diverse population.
To set up your free, no-obligation case review with a New York personal injury lawyer, please call (516) 591-3208 or contact us using our online form. Our friendly staff is standing by to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Sanders Law Firm is a New York personal injury practice with offices in Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.