If you are expecting a baby, you probably have a lot of overwhelming information to sort through during this exciting time. One of the most important topics to think about is the actual birth of your child. If a C-section is not in your plans, then your doctor might have discussed the possible use of the drug Pitocin during labor and delivery. Not all Nashville mothers need Pitocin during labor, but a good portion will experience it. At Bart Durham Injury Law, we understand some of the risks that expectant mothers and their babies face when this drug is administered.
Pitocin is a synthetic form of the natural hormone that causes labor in pregnant women. Many obstetricians administer this drug intravenously to induce labor in overdue pregnancies, to help a slow labor to progress or even to start labor for convenience. According to Medical Daily, a study has indicated that the use of Pitocin might be harmful to newborn babies.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center, analyzed the health of 3,000 babies who were born at full term and whose mothers had Pitocin administered during the delivery. The results suggested that Pitocin increased a newborn’s chances of ending up in the neonatal intensive care unit for more than 24 hours. It also indicated that the drug raised a baby’s risk of having a low Apgar score at five minutes, which might necessitate medical intervention. These scores evaluate a baby’s health based on such factors as breathing, heart rate, skin color and muscle tone.
The researchers were unsure of the reasons why Pitocin raised the risk of adverse health events in newborns. They also said that the findings were not compelling enough to discourage the use of Pitocin in hospitals, and that more research was needed to determine when the drug was medically necessary. To learn more about the birth injuries that can be caused by dangerous drugs and other procedures, please visit our page.