Call to Schedule Your Consultation
Pitocin

Failure to Properly Administer and Monitor Pitocin

Pitocin is a drug used by many (OBGYN) doctors to induce or speed up the labor and delivery process. Pitocin is a synthetic version of a naturally produced hormone called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is released naturally in a woman's body and works to stimulate contractions in the uterine muscles to help in the delivery of a baby. While Pitocin also aids in the progression of labor, there are many risks that need to be disclosed to expectant mothers before a doctor orders and before a nurse or medical staff administers the drug.

Pitocin is generally employed when labor is stalled, when labor induction is medically necessary to prevent harm to the mother or the baby, or when the mother is post-term (41 weeks or more). Approximately 13% of babies delivered in the United States are from induced labor, and when administered and monitored correctly, Pitocin can be a successful means of labor induction. However, there is some debate that Pitocin is being over-used in hospital labor and delivery rooms around the country. Pitocin is sometimes administered without the knowledge and informed consent of the patient or without full disclosure of risks to pregnant mothers and their babies.

Furthermore, there are situations where medical professionals are not correctly dosing Pitocin or are improperly monitoring the mother and baby once Pitocin has been administered. It is especially important to electronically monitor the fetal heart rate. A fetal heart rate monitor (FMH) will indicate to doctors, nurses and medical staff if the baby is suffering from fetal distress. Pitocin flow should be discontinued in the presence of fetal distress.

While Oxytocin and Pitocin work in similar ways, there are differences that may affect the mother and/or baby's health. Oxytocin is naturally released in spurts into the mother's body. Pitocin is administered intravenously so there is a steady flow of the drug into the bloodstream. This steady flow increases the intensity and frequency of contractions which can, in turn, decrease blood flow between the mother and baby. A decrease in blood flow reduces the amount of oxygen the baby receives which may result in fetal distress or hypoxia (oxygen deprivation).

Pitocin Risk Factors

Some of the risks associated with hypoxia in babies include:

  • Fetal heart rate abnormalities
  • Low APGAR scores
  • Neonatal retinal hemorrhaging
  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizures
  • Death

Pitocin may prove to be a risk factor for the mother as well. Known complications include:

  • Increased postpartum hemorrhaging
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Uterine rupture
  • Pelvic hematoma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Premature separation of placenta

Generally, when doctors, nurses and other medical professionals in the labor and delivery ward carefully monitor the mother and baby after the correct administration of Pitocin, they can avert these and other risks. Pitocin is a drug that has important medical uses. Doctors should discuss the risks and benefits of Pitocin with pregnant patients so that these patients can make informed medical decisions about their health and the health of their babies.

Contact a Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you feel that Pitocin caused you or your baby harm during a labor and delivery in Kentucky, you can contact a Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer to help you determine if a doctor or other health care provider was negligent in administering Pitocin and/or monitoring the fetal heart rate. Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC is a Kentucky law office with its main office in Louisville, Kentucky.

Brett handles cases all over Kentucky. Contact Brett Oppenheimer online or call (502) 242-8877.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • American Association for Justice
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • The American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Accredited Business A+

Clients Believe Brett Oppenheimer Is the Right Choice

  • “I value the input & advice from the well informed friends & legal confidants I've had the pleasure to get to know and work with as well as learn from!”

    - Hill
  • “Thank you for receiving my call today re: my sons OPIOID Case; your knowledge, wisdom and understanding mean more to me than I can express. This epidemic is a very lonely Journey walking it alone; I ...”

    - Jayne C.
  • “Brett and Laurie were very professional and definitely caring. After working with them, my thought was right. I will recommend this dynamic team to anyone in need of legal help. Their service is excellent.”

    - Kim C.
  • “You helped me navigate the negotiation process with the insurance company …you were really helpful and transparent about everything. Thanks so much!”

    - Moshe O.
  • “This is an emotional and invasive process…Thank you for your assistance and candor! You guys are awesome.”

    - Richard B.
/

You Can Count on Brett

  • Respected by His Peers, Loved by His Clients
  • National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Kentucky
  • Personal Involvement From Start to Finish
  • Over 25 Years of Legal Experience
  • Rave Client Reviews
  • No Recovery, No Fee

Contact Us Today!

All Consultations are Free and Confidential
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.