In many situations, when labor and delivery slows, doctors will administer Pitocin (a synthetic form of oxytocin), in order to induce contractions and help labor progress. Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone that induces contractions. While Pitocin is generally safe, its use must be carefully monitored. Administering too much Pitocin may lead to serious complications for the mother and baby. These may include fetal distress or a drop in fetal heart rate, and subsequent birth injury which may affect the child for life. In the most severe cases, errors in administering Pitocin may cause fatal injuries to the infant and mother.
In a recent medical malpractice birth injury case, a jury awarded $6 million to the family of a infant with cerebral palsy. The jury determined that the medical team in charge of delivering the baby were negligent in failing to monitor the administration of Pitocin, and failing to monitor changes in the fetal heart monitor that revealed the infant’s brain was not receiving enough oxygen. As a result of the medical errors, the jury concluded, the child sustained permanent birth injuries and is unable to care for himself. He will need permanent assistance for the rest of his life.
Although many medical interventions are necessary and beneficial, they are not without risk. Further, when a health care professional fails to act with care, or makes an error in protocol, and the patient suffers harm, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice claim to hold the doctor, nurse or hospital responsible.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical negligence, please contact the experienced Los Angeles birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.