A form of the naturally occurring hormone Oxytocin, Pitocin can be used to induce labor. When used carefully, it can help reduce fetal distress. But even subtle mistakes lead to serious complications when misused.
The benefits of Pitocin can be a long list, but improper use leads to devastating injuries. Potential risks of using Pitocin for induced labor include:
Placental abruption: a separation of the placental lining from the uterus
Fetal distress: typically diagnosed by an irregular heartbeat signaling potential for brain injury
Uterine rupture: a rare, but cataclysmic event in which the integrity of the myomtrial wall is breached
Other risks: increased chance of complications, premature birth and mandatory fetal monitoring
Serious injury can be caused by using Pitocin if the dosage is not carefully measured and administered to the fetus while monitoring the heartbeat. Multiple fetal injuries have been the result of medical staff failing to react properly when the fetal heartbeat changed while administering Pitocin.
When fetal distress occurs while administering Pitocin, it is vital that medical staff cease administration of Pitocin and instead begin an immediate c-section. Permanent brain damage or cerebral palsy can be the result of failing to react to changes in the fetal heartbeat while administering Pitocin.
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