Many women are provided with various medications designed to help induce labor. These drugs may contribute to injuries to the baby during birth. Problems may occur both in the mother and infant that could be serious or even dangerous. Long-term health issues could occur due to mistakes made during labor or delivery.
Reasons for Inducing Labor
There are a number of reasons why a doctor may want to induce labor. When the baby is overdue, the doctor may induce labor so the baby does not suffer distress or become too large. Most often, labor inducing drugs are provided when the mother’s labor is stalled. This can happen, for example, after being given an epidural. Epidurals or other pain-relieving medications can sometimes slow labor. Then, labor inducing drugs are necessary to avoid distress to the mother or baby.
Distress during Labor
Both the mother and baby should be monitored during labor and delivery. If the baby experiences distress the birth needs to occur more quickly. In these situations, it may be best to have a c-section than to risk delay. The baby could experience a lack of oxygen which may be the cause of serious brain damage including the possibility of cerebral palsy.
Side Effects of Labor Inducing Drugs
Labor inducing drugs such as Pitocin, often have side effects. These side effects may be problematic for the mother, the infant, or both. The mother may experience nausea, vomiting, or severe contractions. The baby may suffer an irregular heartbeat, bleeding in the eye, seizures, or a slow heartbeat. These issues could be severe while others may go away rather quickly after the medication leaves the system.
Labor-Inducing Drugs Linked to Autism
Although not much is known about the causes of autism, there are some people who think that labor inducing drugs could be linked to autism. Autism is a condition that affects millions of children in the United States. Autism may cause lifelong disability or may allow the person to live a somewhat normal life.
Risks of Complications during Delivery
Complications can occur during any labor or delivery. However, when medications are utilized, the risk for complications may rise. The baby may not be positioned properly or may be lodged during delivery. This can cause the baby to experience asphyxia, or reduced oxygen flow to the brain. Also, in complicated births the doctor may need to use devices such as forceps or vacuum to assist in the birth. These devices could cause harm such as broken bones, bruises, and damage to the brachial plexus.
Birth Injuries in Infants
Birth injuries are usually avoidable. The doctor or medical team may be negligent if they allow birth complications to impact the health of the infant. For example, in cases where labor is delayed or the baby is in distress, a c-section may need to be done to keep the mother and baby safe. If the doctor is negligent, the child and parents may be entitled to compensation to cover medical costs and other damages that were incurred. If your baby was injured during birth, contact the skilled lawyers at Levin & Perconti to discuss your situation.
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