Pitocin and Syntocinon are brand names for the drug Oxytocin, which is a synthetic hormone used to speed up the process of childbirth. The drug is administered intravenous and delivers concentrations of calcium to a layer of the uterine wall. This helps to promote uterine contractions.
There are medical professionals who are opposed to the use of Pitocin even though it is the go-to drug for accelerating labor. Those who are against the use of Pitocin claim that it does not allow the mother’s receptors in the nervous system to connect and it causes the oxytocin hormone in the body to shut down.
Successful malpractice arguments are that medical professionals misuse Pitocin by giving excessive doses that hyperstimulate the uterus leading to injury to the fetus. The use of the drug in this manner can be a breach of the standard of care that forms the basis for a medical malpractice suit against an Obstetric Gynecologist and labor and delivery nurses. As stated, Pitocin is given to a mother to speed up the delivery process, but it can considerably extend the duration that a mother is in labor that causes contractions that are longer and more painful.
Ordinarily the dose for Pitocin is .5 mU/min to 3 mU/min. This initial dose is used to kick start the labor and delivery process. But, oftentimes a woman is given this dosage after she is already in labor and this amounts to an excessive dose, which breaches the standard of care due to hyperstimulation of the uterus. Administering this drug in this manner is unnecessary according to some medical professionals.
The effects of Pitocin in this manner results in uterine tachysystole. This is when a mother has six contractions within ten-minute intervals. Uterine hyperstimulation is shown through the fetal heart rate pattern. When tachysystole begins to occur Pitocin should no longer be given. However, many doctors and labor and delivery nurses fail to recognize the standard of care and hospital protocols and do not discontinue the use of Pitocin, which can result in dangerous effects on a mother and her baby.
For more information about your legal options following the misuse of Pitocin due to a labor and delivery nurse or medical practitioner’s failure to take standard precautions, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer today who can advise you of your legal rights. Levine & Slavit, PLLC represents clients in pursuing claims arising out of hospital negligence and will fight for your right to receive compensation. Contact (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.