Pitocin and Birth Injuries

Pitocin is a medication that mimics a hormone known as oxytocin. This hormone is important in the process of labor and delivery of a baby.


What are the risks of using Pitocin in labor?

Pitocin is widely used in the field of obstetrics. In most cases, it’s a safe medication, but it’s certainly not without risks. Some of the serious risks created by Pitocin include:


  • Uterine hyperstimulation, in which the contractions of the uterus are too strong
    and/or too close together. This can interfere with blood flow and deprive the baby
    of oxygen, which can lead to serious and lifelong health complications.
  • Uterine rupture, in which the uterus becomes torn. This can lead to severe
    bleeding, which may require a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) to save the
    mother’s life.
  • Fetal distress. This may lead to a condition called meconium staining, in which the
    baby passes stool while still in the womb. Meconium can enter the lungs and
    cause respiratory issues in the baby.

These complications can cause lifelong health issues, or even death of the mother and/or the baby.

These severe complications are rare, but it’s important for the medical team to be aware of them and to manage the patient carefully. The risks of Pitocin can be greatly decreased by maintaining appropriate medical supervision throughout the process. If the health of both mother and baby are closely monitored throughout the process of labor and delivery, the chances that one or both of them will suffer from severe complications are significantly lessened.

However, when medical supervision is not adequate, then there may be severe health consequences for the mother and/or the baby. Pitocin is not a medication that a provider can simply “set and forget.” Rather, it requires active monitoring throughout the process in order to use it safely.

The dosing of Pitocin is very important. When a mother receives too much Pitocin, there’s a greater risk that the uterine contractions will be too strong and/or too close together, which can be dangerous for both mother and baby. Giving higher doses of Pitocin in an attempt to speed up labor can create serious medical problems; it’s important for providers to understand the risks.

What should you do if you or your baby have been harmed by Pitocin?

Medical professionals have a duty to care for their patients properly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. In a busy labor and delivery unit, a woman in labor may not be sufficiently monitored to detect any problems that arise with Pitocin until it’s too late. She and/or her baby may suffer severe harm as a result.

We believe in seeking justice for mothers and babies who have been harmed by medical negligence in the birthing process. If you were given Pitocin as part of your labor, and you suffered from harm that you believe may have resulted from medical negligence, then you should consider contacting an attorney to discuss your case. You might be able to receive compensation, which can help with the significant lifelong medical costs that can result from a Pitocin-induced injury.

Because of the statute of limitations, you have a limited amount of time after an injury in which to file a claim. This is why it’s important not to delay. If you wait too long, then you might lose your opportunity to seek justice.