Fighting For Those Injured By Pitocin Errors

Every expectant mother hopes for a healthy baby and no birth complications, but the unfortunate truth is that it is not always the case. There are times when sound medical practice calls for forcing a delivery by inducing labor. Pitocin, the drug most often used for this, is a synthetic version of a hormone released naturally during labor to cause uterine contractions.

Crandall & Pera Law helps families whose mothers and newborns have suffered the complications of improper induction of labor with Pitocin. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys, registered nurses and legal staff work together with you to document the details of your pregnancy and delivery, and the treatment outcomes. If we discover evidence of medical negligence, we help you protect your family by representing you in court or during settlement negotiations.

When Labor Induction May Be Appropriate

There are times when a pregnant woman needs to have labor induced. For example when:

  • The mother has developed pre-eclampsia (PE), a pregnancy disorder characterized by dangerously high blood pressure and kidney involvement. Pre-eclampsia increases the risk of poor outcomes for both mother and the baby. Risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, older age and diabetes. If left untreated it may result in seizures. Conditions like pre-eclampsia are called hypertensive disorders, and are among the most common causes of pregnancy-related death.
  • The mother has developed obstetric cholestasis (OC), a symptom of underlying liver disease in which substances normally excreted into the bile are retained in the blood. The symptoms are jaundice and extreme itching, and may pose a risk of stillbirth.
  • The baby shows signs of distress (i.e. lack of movement or decelerating heart rate).
  • Labor had begun, but stopped.

In these situations, inducing labor may be the safest course of action. When the baby or the mother's health is in danger, sometimes getting the baby out as quickly as possible is the best way to ensure the health of both.

While Pitocin induces labor, it is not without risk. It may stimulate extra contractions of the uterine muscles that can cause significant and permanent damage to the baby. In addition, a fair number of labor inductions necessitate a cesarean section (C-Section) as well, turning an ordinary delivery into an unexpected major surgery.

The doctor is responsible for making the judgment call: does the patient's condition warrant the risk of induced labor to the mother and baby, or does waiting pose the greater hazard?

When Labor Induction Is Inappropriate

Because induction can be risky both to the mother and the baby, it must be used judiciously. Inducing labor with Pitocin may be deemed a form of medical negligence when:

  • The birth is simply overdue. Since the expected date of birth can be, and often is, miscalculated, the fact of lateness is not good cause, in and of itself, to induce labor.
  • The patient had a previous C-Section. Use of Pitocin in women with a previous C-section significantly increases the possibility of a ruptured uterus.
  • Inconvenient timing of delivery. Believe it or not, some doctors have induced labor because the normal time of delivery would have interfered with their vacation plans.

If induction is performed without good reason, and fetal or maternal injury or death occurs, you should seek legal counsel from a qualified medical malpractice attorney at once.

Crandall & Pera Law understands how birth injuries may affect a family for a lifetime. Families may be deprived of a mother, or children of normally functioning limbs, because of poor judgment on the part of a medical professional. Our well-recognized team works one-on-one with you to ensure your rights are protected.

Support For Families Suffering The Effects Of Medical Malpractice

Please call 855-444-6651 or stay online and send us a message to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled and compassionate attorneys. We have multiple offices conveniently located in Cleveland, Cincinnati and other major cities in Ohio and Kentucky.