There is a potential dark and dangerous order that some obstetricians will order for a woman in labor, “pit to distress.” This is an order to give the mother the synthetic hormone Pitocin to speed up the labor and delivery process. In the best-case scenario, a doctor will order this because they believe that it to be a standard procedure. In the worst-case scenario, a doctor will order this because they want to go home or some other personal or business reason (i.e. turning over beds quicker means more patients admitted and more profits).
Regardless of the reason why a doctor gives a pit to distress order, the act can have potentially serious or fatal consequences for the mother and/or baby.
Pitocin is the synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is naturally produced by the body in order to induce contractions. Pitocin is administered via an IV, with the dose gradually increased until the mother is experiencing contractions every two to three minutes. At this point, the doctor will either stop administering it, lower the dosage, or continue administering the current dosage through delivery.
There are situations where administering Pitocin is medically necessary. For example, if the labor has been prolonged one and the mother is becoming exhausted and weak, Pitocin can help increase the rate of the contractions and help move the childbirth process quicker. This can help reduce the need for performing a Cesarean section delivery, which can be dangerous.
Pitocin can also be used to induce labor when there are dangerous medical conditions that have developed, such as preeclampsia (when the mother develops extremely high blood pressure), polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid), or when the baby is unable to develop properly in the womb.
The risks of inducing labor using Pitocin include:
· Drop in fetal heart rate
· Fetal death
· Fetal distress
· Fetus overstimulation from being unable to rest between contractions
· Postpartum hemorrhage of the mother
· Rupturing of the uterus
Pitocin should only be used when medically necessary given the serious and dangerous risks the medication poses. Yet statistics show that approximately half of all women in this country have their labors induced, usually with Pitocin. Studies show that only 30 percent of these women had medical issues that called for Pitocin inducement.
Contact a Birth Injury Attorney Today
Every parent understands that there are risks to carrying a child and giving birth. When an infant suffers a birth defect or injury, it can be traumatic for the family, but when the condition is caused by negligence on the part of medical professionals, the emotional and financial impact can be devastating.
If your baby suffered birth trauma and you suspect negligent medical care was the cause, contact a birth injury attorney today. They will schedule a free case evaluation and determine what kind of financial compensation your family may be entitled to. Call today to get the financial justice your family deserves.