Pitocin is a drug commonly used to induce or speed up labor. It is a synthesized form of a hormone that is naturally produced by a woman’s body when she goes into labor. When administered, it is supposed to result in uterine contractions to assist in the labor process. Unfortunately, it does not come without risk of harm to a baby.
One widely recognized side effect of Pitocin, generically oxytocin, is that it can cause excessive contractions or uterine hyperstimulation. If the uterus is not allowed enough time to relax in between contractions it can decrease the amount of blood and oxygen reaching a baby. If there is a decrease in the amount of oxygen reaching a baby, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, hypoxia, brain damage or cerebral palsy can result.
When an expecting mother is given Pitocin during labor, fetal monitor strips must be closely observed for overstimulation of the uterus or fetal distress. If a baby shows signs of ongoing stress, the medication should be adjusted, decreased or stopped.
If you feel your baby has suffered a birth injury due to Pitocin, or oxytocin, you may want to contact an experienced cerebral palsy law firm or trial lawyers who have successfully won multi-million dollar birth injury verdicts.