The birth of a child should be one of the most exciting and joyful times for you as a parent. If you’ve had a healthy pregnancy, you may not expect the labor and delivery to have any complications. If your doctor has discussed using Pitocin to start labor, you may have reason to be concerned. At Donovan & O’Connor, LLP, we have seen the tragic results of Massachusetts parents who had complications during the delivery process. There may be evidence suggesting that the drug Pitocin may be dangerous for newborn babies.
Pitocin, a synthetic version of the natural hormone that induces labor, is often used in hospitals across the country. The drug may be used to jumpstart an overdue pregnancy, to speed up a slow or stalled labor or even to let the expectant parents choose a due date that’s convenient for them. However, a report by Medical Daily states that Pitocin may cause birth injuries.
Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center studied 3,000 full-term babies who were born with Pitocin having been used during labor and delivery. The drug was suspected in increasing a baby’s chances of needing medical intervention or being put in the neonatal intensive care unit for longer than 24 hours. Pitocin was also suggested as a factor in babies who had low Apgar scores at five minutes. Apgar scores evaluate the health of a newborn based on heart rate, breathing, muscle tone and skin color.
The reasons why Pitocin might cause a higher risk of adverse health incidents in newborn babies were unclear. Those involved in the study said more research would be needed to determine when the drug is needed for the health and safety of the mother and baby during labor. For now, they do not necessarily discourage the use of Pitocin, but recommend caution. For more information on birth injuries, please click here to visit our page.