Many times doctors administer the drug Pitocin to women who are in labor. Pitocin works to induce labor by causing the uterus to contract. It is also administered to help speed along a labor that has slowed down or stopped. The drug is delivered via IV, and monitored closely by the doctors and nurses.
A recent study evaluated the risks associated with Pitocin, and concluded that women who were given Pitocin had a higher risk of giving birth to a child with a lower APGAR score or requiring admission to the NICU. However, the study did not determine what caused the poorer outcomes.
Further, it must be noted that Pitocin is often used where a delivery may already be difficult, thus complicating the determination of the cause of a poor outcome. For example, it is important to remember that when labor has stalled, intervention MUST occur or both the mother and the fetus could die of sepsis or severe infection that will occur if delivery does not occur.
However, some known risks include causing contractions to occur too quickly and close together. When this happens a woman's uterus may not have enough time to recover. This may lead to fetal distress and complications such as an abnormal heartbeat, seizures, brain injury or damage and a decreased heart rate can be the result.
A mother may risk developing pulmonary edema or irregular sodium levels.
Pitocin is no different: it can and is a safe medication, but it can also cause problems if not administered properly.
For more information or if you or your child has suffered harm as the result of the use of Pitocin during delivery, please contact the experienced Los Angeles birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.