Pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, is increasingly becoming the norm for labor in women. While it is helpful in certain situations, using Pitocin has been linked to an increased risk of childbirth injuries such as tearing, lacerations, and ruptures. In this blog post, we will discuss the link between Pitocin and childbirth injuries, who may be liable for these types of injuries, and what can be done if you or your child have suffered a birth injury caused by Pitocin.
What Is Pitocin?
Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin used to induce or speed up labor in pregnant women. Oxytocin occurs naturally in the body and helps stimulate contractions during labor. Giving a woman additional oxytocin is sometimes necessary if labor has stalled or slowed down significantly. This extra oxytocin is administered through an IV drip and typically takes 30-60 minutes to take effect.
Link Between Pitocin and Birth Injuries
While there are certain benefits to using Pitocin during labor, it can also increase the risk of childbirth injuries. The most common types of birth injury associated with the use of Pitocin include:
- Vaginal tearing
- Uterine rupture
- Vaginal tissue damage/rupture
- Perineal tears (tears near the anus or vagina)
- Bladder injury (urinary tract damage)
- Fetal distress/oxygen deprivation due to excessive contractions
- Stillbirths/neonatal deaths due to oxygen deprivation
- Infection in mother or baby due to prolonged labor time/excessive contractions
Lacerations, Tears and Ruptures
One potential risk associated with Pitocin is an increased likelihood of lacerating, tearing or rupturing during childbirth. These injuries are caused by the excessive stretching and movement associated with labor and delivery. This can sometimes result in severe complications such as infection, excessive bleeding, and even organ damage.
Women who have had previous vaginal deliveries may be at an increased risk for certain types of tears due to scar tissue from prior deliveries being stretched during subsequent ones. Additionally, those who are overweight or have diabetes may be at an increased risk for certain types of childbirth injuries due to prolonged labor associated with these conditions.
Other Severe Risks
The other potential risks associated with using Pitocin include severe abdominal pain due to rapid contractions caused by its use and an increased chance for fetal distress due to overly strong contractions, which can impede oxygen flow from mother to baby through the placenta.
There is also some evidence that suggests that mothers exposed to Pitocin may have a higher chance for postpartum depression due to reduced levels of endorphins released during natural labor and delivery when compared with those not exposed to the drug. Most of these risks are considered rare, but expectant mothers must understand all possible outcomes before agreeing to its use during their delivery experience.
Who Is Liable for Childbirth Injuries Caused by Pitocin?
The doctor overseeing your delivery may be liable for any injuries caused by their negligent administration or misuse of medications like Pitocin during delivery. If you believe your doctor was negligent in using Pitocin, resulting in childbirth injuries to you or your baby, you may be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit against them and their employer (hospital).
It is important that you speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible if you believe that negligence on behalf of your doctor has resulted in a childbirth injury related to the use of Pitocin.
How McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry, P.A. Can Help Provide Relief
At McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry, P.A., we understand the stress and worry that can come with childbirth injuries related to Pitocin. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers are knowledgeable about all aspects of these cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve. We will work diligently to make sure that those responsible for your injury are held accountable for their actions and that you can find justice. Call us today at (505) 405-4441.