Induced Labor and Birth Injury

Under ideal conditions a woman’s body will follow normal physiological processes when giving birth. Though every woman’s labor is different, both in duration and intensity, medical professionals have established certain phases that a woman’s labor should follow in order to be considered normal. When this does not happen, in some cases labor must be induced.

Inducing Labor

There are a number of situations and conditions that may result in your physician deciding to induce labor. Some common conditions which may lead physicians to induce labor include:

  • Due to a medical complication or condition, such as diabetes or hypertension, your doctors have determined it will be safer for you to give birth immediately.
  • You are a week or more past your due date.
  • Your baby is suffering from a condition that needs to be treated outside the womb.
  • Your water broke, but other signs associated with giving birth, such as contractions, are not strong.

Labor Inducing Drugs

In order to induce labor, physicians usually rely on powerful medications. Though there are many drugs which may help induce labor, two of the most popular are Pitocin, which is administered intravenously, and Cytotec (Misoprostol), which comes in pill form.

Like all drugs, labor inducing medications can cause serious, and even life-threatening, complications when applied in incorrect dosages, at the wrong time, or in a manner that is not consistent with accepted medical practices. The result of such medical malpractice could be serious injury to the birthing mother and/or the child.

Complications after Inducing Labor

Serious complications associated with inducing labor include:

  • Hyperstimulation (Tachysystole) – This condition occurs when the body experiences strong contractions at an unacceptably high rate. Normally, a woman’s contractions will fall between 2 to 3 minutes apart and last no more than 60 seconds apiece.  Labor inducing drugs can cause the body to experience contractions more frequently than every two minutes, which can pose a significant risk to the baby.
  • Post-partum hemorrhage (bleeding) – Hyperstimulation can lead to a woman’s excessive bleeding during and after birth.
  • Uterine rupture – Hyperstimulation can cause the uterus to rupture.
  • Fetal distress – When a baby’s heart rate fluctuates significantly during the birthing process, this condition is called fetal distress. Labor inducing drugs can cause fetal distress, which is a potentially deadly condition.

As a result of the complications associated with labor inducing drugs, a baby may be born with any of a number of serious medical conditions, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Other developmental delays
  • Neurological damage
  • Seizure disorders
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Seeking Justice

If your baby suffers from the effects of a serious birth injury, and you believe that use of labor inducing drugs may be to blame, you’re attending medical professionals may be responsible.

Contact an experienced birth injury attorney today for an evaluation of your situation and information regarding your legal options.

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