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Cytotec Labor Injury

Cytotec Labor Injury

If you were given Cytotec to induce labor and a birth injury occurred, call Willens & Baez today to discuss your case.

Cytotec Labor Injury

The risks associated with using Cytotec to induce labor outweighs the benefits. It is hard to understand why doctors have continued to use this product, even though it has put numerous babies and pregnant women at risk.

Why is Cytotec Unsafe?

Cytotec, also known as misoprostol, is a drug that the FDA approved for the treatment of gastric ulcers. Before the FDA places its stamp of approval on a drug, it must undergo rigorous testing procedures. If it passes, then the FDA deems the drug usable for “intended purposes” only. However, doctors are allowed to prescribe the drug for whatever they think is appropriate and this is known as “off-label” use.

This is what has happened in the case of Cytotec. OBGYN’s started using the drug to induce labor because it was discovered that it softens the cervix and encourages contractions. But this unintended use of the product has had dangerous, often fatal, risks associated with using it to induce labor.

Birth Injuries Associated with Cytotec

The manufacturer of Cytotec, Searle, sent a letter out in 2000 stating the risks affiliated with using the product for inducing labor. Following this, the FDA issued a safety alert regarding the drug, again stating the risks. Yet, doctors continued to use the product to induce labor.

Some of the birth injuries and complications that can occur as a result of using Cytotec to induce labor include:

  • Hyperstimulation: A women’s contractions during labor should be between 2 to 3 minutes apart and should last no longer than 1 minute. However, hyperstimulation occurs when the contractions become excessive and too strong. This can cause fetal distress, which can be damaging to a baby. It can cut off oxygen supply and lead to serious birth injuries.
  • Post-partum hemorrhage: If birth progresses too quickly, such as with hyperstimulation, it can place the mother at risk of excessive bleeding during or after the baby is born.
  • Uterine rupture: Again due to hyperstimulation, if the contractions become overly intense, it can place too much stress on a woman’s uterus and cause it to rupture.
  • Amniotic fluid embolism: while this condition is more rare, it occurs when the amniotic fluid enters the mother’s blood stream due to hyperstimulation. If this happens, it can cause blood clots and cardiorespiratory problems for the mother.
  • Birth Injuries: due to any of the above complications, an unborn baby can lose oxygen to the brain causing birth injuries like cerebral palsy, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, autism, seizure disorder, and paralysis.

In addition to these complications, medical malpractice can arise when a doctor, medical staff or hospital is guilty of medical negligence. When a doctor chooses to go beyond the accepted standard of medical care, such as using a drug for an unintended purpose, he or she should be held accountable when dangerous complications arise as a result.

Cases of medical negligence when using Cytotec to induce labor include, but are not limited to:

  • Delayed decision to perform a cesarean section
  • Failure to properly monitor and/or detect fetal distress
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
  • Failure to detect a pregnancy-related medical problem
  • Doctors and staff that are not properly trained
  • Failure to detect that a baby is breech

If you or someone you love have been injured due to the use of Cytotec to induce labor, it is important to understand that you have legal options.

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