Pitocin and the Risks of Birth Injuries
To induce labor or not to induce. It’s a question many women find themselves faced with every year, but there is no one correct answer. Whether induction is a good option or not depends on many different factors and there are some very good reasons why induction could be very beneficial. Sometimes, a woman’s baby is overdue or her labor started naturally, but she is experiencing weak contractions that could prolong labor and delivery. In other cases, labor induction might be recommended if a mother has certain medical conditions or if there is reason to believe complications would arise if labor were allowed to progress naturally, such as if the baby is too large or in a breech position and a C-section would be too risky.
While inducing labor can be helpful in some situations, it’s very important to remember that there can be risks involved. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin and is often administered to induce labor. However, it can potentially also cause contractions that are too strong or too close together. When contractions are too strong, they might be strong enough to impact the child’s blood flow and oxygen supply by putting too much pressure on the placenta.
A child experiencing a lack of oxygen is always cause for concern. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain injury that can potentially occur if a child experiences a lack of oxygen during delivery or very shortly after delivery. Birth asphyxia can also be linked to an increased risk of problems like developmental delays, learning disabilities, hearing/visual impairments, and seizure disorders. In the most severe cases, a prolonged lack of oxygen around the time of birth can also be fatal.
In addition to the oxygen-related problems that pitocin can cause, it can also result in an abnormal heart rate, neonatal seizures, and an increased risk of jaundice. For the mother, pitocin can also cause more painful contractions and a higher risk of uterine rupture, postpartum hemorrhage, and pelvic hematoma. There’s also a chance that induction might not work and C-section would be needed, which comes with its own risks.
Pitocin can be risky in some circumstances and it’s very important that doctors inform their patients about the risks and benefits associated with pitocin and take care to make sure it is administered correctly and that they carefully monitor the baby’s vital signs. If it’s not used correctly, it can potentially be dangerous to both the mother and the child.
If your labor was induced using pitocin and you or your child was injured during birth, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a birth trauma lawyer as soon as possible. Even if your child is a few years old, you may still have legal options. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we understand how upsetting these situations are and we’ve helped many birth trauma victims just like you. Contact us today for help with your case.