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Pitocin Birth Injury Lawsuits

Birth injury lawsuits

Pitocin is a popular and powerful intravenous medication used to start or increase uterine contractions in expectant mothers. The problem with Pitocin is that if it is administered in excessive quantities it can cause injury to the fetus. Pitocin birth injury lawsuits are meant to bring justice to the victim and hold the medical provider or facility responsible for their negligence.

Pitocin birth injury lawsuits

A Pitocin birth injury often starts with excessive administration of Pitocin that leads to hyper-stimulated uterine activity, cord compression, abrupt delivery, decreased fetal oxygenation to vital organs, a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury or uteroplacental insufficiency. These conditions can cause severe and permanent neurological injury and long-term medical expenses. Parents may hire a birth injury attorney to file a birth injury lawsuit to cover damages.

Standard of care

Obstetricians and nurses responsible for administering Pitocin are expected to follow a standard of care. For example, one of the signs that excessive Pitocin has been administered is an abnormal fetal heart rate. If a medical provider fails to monitor the accelerations and decelerations of the fetal heart rate or discontinue use of Pitocin when an abnormal fetal heart rate has been identified then the standard of care may have been violated.

What factors must be present for a Pitocin birth injury lawsuit?

  1. A violation of the standard of care. When a medical professional behaves differently than a reasonable and prudent health care professional would in a similar circumstance then he or she may have violated a “reasonable standard of care.”
  2. Acted negligently. A birth injury lawyer must prove that the plaintiff sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence; and that negligence was the direct cause of the injury.
  3. Significant injury/damages resulted from negligence. Because medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive and time consuming to litigate, there is not likely to be a lawsuit in the absence of serious injury and damages.

Hospital protocol for Pitocin

Most hospitals have protocols and strict guidelines for Pitocin including the following:

  • Continuous and sufficient monitoring of fetus heart rate and mother’s uterine activity after administration
  • Limiting the use of Pitocin when the mother is dilating, having strong contractions or recurrent variable and/or late fetal heart rate decelerations
  • Consistent communication with the physician during the process
  • Stopping use of Pitocin when contractions and/or fetal heart rate do not return to normal ranges

The problem is that in some hospitals nurses and physicians are following an inadequate or imperfect hospital Pitocin protocol. If the protocol does not direct the medical team to identify excessive uterine activity as a serious issue that warrants the decrease or discontinuation of Pitocin then the hospital may be responsible for injuries to the infant.

Filing a Pitocin birth injury lawsuit

Our medical malpractice lawyers understand that even if a medical provider fails to follow hospital protocols for Pitocin, they are very unlikely to admit guilt. This is because there will be some medical experts willing to defend the continued or increased usage of Pitocin that led to the birth injury. If your child was injured in a Pitocin birth injury you need a skilled medical malpractice lawyer on your side to fight for the justice and damages you deserve.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.