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Cytotec Birth Injury Lawyers
Cytotec (and its generic equivalent, misoprostol) is a hormone medication designed to lower the risk of developing stomach ulcers while taking anti-inflammatory medications (or NSAIDs). While that may be its intended purpose, this medication is often used to induce labor in pregnant women.
Cytotec’s use in labor and delivery patients has not been approved by the FDA, and the organization actually warns against using Cytotec in people who are pregnant due to the risks involved. Even when using Cytotec to prevent stomach ulcers, women of childbearing age are required to be on contraception due to these potential risks associated with the drug. Using Cytotec while pregnant can cause a child to be born with birth defects and can cause a mother to experience severe health complications, including death.
If a pregnant woman is not notified of the risks associated with Cytotec before the drug is administered, then the patient cannot give informed consent. If a patient or their child is harmed due to healthcare providers administering Cytotec, they may be able to file a medical malpractice suit.
Ohio and Northern Kentucky Birth Injury Lawyers for Cytotec Labor Injuries
Negligent medical care can have devastating effects, and finding a birth trauma litigation group to represent you can add stress to an already difficult situation. If you or your family are seeking legal help regarding Cytotec injuries, the experienced lawyers at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm are here. We try many different categories of medical malpractice cases in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, including birth injury cases.
What is Cytotec for Labor?
Since Cytotec is an anti-ulcer drug by design, administering Cytotec for use outside of preventing stomach ulcers is considered “off-label use.” Using Cytotec for labor induction is off-label use, and the use of medications outside of their intended use may be dangerous, so why do medical professionals use it in labor and delivery?
A side effect of Cytotec is that it can soften a woman’s cervix, which can help aid in the birthing process. Medical professionals also frequently use Cytotec due to the drug’s low cost, long shelf life, and widespread availability. Cytotec can be administered vaginally to slow the drug’s absorption rate, but studies have found that the absorption rate varies from person to person.
Does Cytotec Cause Contractions?
Yes, Cytotec can induce uterine contractions when administered to a pregnant woman. In some cases, labor-inducing drugs like Cytotec may be necessary for a successful vaginal birth. However, off-label use of Cytotec can potentially be harmful, especially beyond the eighth week of pregnancy. If you or a family member have suffered harm from using Cytotec as a labor-inducing drug, the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati medical malpractice attorneys at TLF can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Call us at (800) 698-4054 to schedule a free consultation so that our team of skilled personal injury lawyers can help you receive financial compensation.
Risks of Cytotec to Induce Labor
Despite its widespread use, numerous risks are still associated with administering Cytotec to induce labor. Additionally, if medical professionals do not properly monitor the patient undergoing treatment, the patient and the fetus may experience serious bodily harm or even death. In pregnant individuals, some of the risks of using Cytotec to induce labor include:
- Uterine hyperstimulation;
- Uterine rupture;
- Excessive bleeding;
- Heart and lung failure;
- Shock; and
- Maternal death.
Cytotec Side Effects to Baby
Cytotec doesn’t just pose a risk to a pregnant woman–their unborn baby may also be at risk. Cytotec may cause:
- Birth defects, such as cerebral palsy;
- Brain damage;
- Birth asphyxia, or oxygen deprivation;
- Fetal bradycardia, or slow heartbeat; and
- Fetal death.
Causes of Cytotec Birth Injuries
There are several ways that Cytotec can cause a pregnant woman and their unborn child to experience the risks associated with the drug. After administering Cytotec to induce labor, doctors should be properly monitoring the mother as well as the fetus to detect some of these causes and prevent birth injuries.
Residents of Ohio and Kentucky who have suffered birth injuries relating to Cytotec use in inducing labor should contact the labor and delivery malpractice lawyers at TLF. Our birth injury attorneys can help those injured as a result of off-label use of Cytotec receive compensation to help cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and financial compensation for any mental and emotional damages incurred.
Birth Injury Causes in Pregnant Women
Cytotec can cause uterine hyperstimulation, which is when a pregnant individual experiences more than five contractions within 10 minutes. Uterine hyperstimulation can cause fetal heart rate disruptions resulting from decreased oxygen to the fetal brain, as well as uterine rupture, which requires surgery. Mothers who have previously had a C-section or any kind of uterine surgery are at higher risk for uterine rupture as a result of using Cytotec to induce labor.
A pregnant woman may also experience amniotic fluid embolism, which is believed to be a reaction to amniotic fluid, or the fluid surrounding an unborn fetus, as it is absorbed into the mother’s bloodstream post-delivery. Amniotic fluid embolism can cause heart and lung failure, as well as excessive bleeding. Cytotec may also cause the placenta not to release, which can cause postpartum hemorrhaging and potentially result in death.
Birth Injury Causes in Infants
In addition to causing health complications in the mother, Cytotec can also cause fetal distress in various ways. When used in labor induction, Cytotec can cause loss of blood flow to the baby, leading to many different potential health complications. Perinatal hypoxia is when the fetus does not receive enough oxygen for one or more of its organs. As a result, the child may suffer from birth asphyxia and potentially fetal acidosis.
Birth asphyxia occurs in infants when the doctors and nurses cannot establish breathing at birth. Fetal acidosis occurs when there is a build-up of lactic acid in the body, causing the baby’s blood to become toxic, and can be caused by hypoxia caused by excessive uterine activity. Both birth asphyxia and fetal acidosis are associated with brain injury and potentially death in unborn infants.
Similar to birth hypoxia, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a birth injury caused by obstructed blood flow to the fetus. The difference is that birth hypoxia can occur in various organs, but hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy specifically refers to brain injuries caused by the obstruction of blood flow. Both perinatal hypoxia and HIE can cause various birth defects, such as cerebral palsy, or even cause death if not prevented or treated in a timely manner.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you or a loved one were given Cytotec to induce labor and then suffered from health complications, you should consider your legal options following the incident. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to follow the standard of care and causes injury to you or your child. If your child’s injury was caused by medical malpractice, you can pursue a claim for financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or emotional and mental damages you have incurred as a result.
Administering medications for purposes outside those listed by the drug’s manufacturer is a common practice, but it can be very dangerous in some cases. The use of Cytotec outside of preventing gastric ulcers is specifically discouraged by the FDA due to the potential risks associated with it. Additionally, if doctors do not properly monitor the mother and child after administering Cytotec, they may not be able to prevent certain birth injuries from occurring.
It’s important that patients being administered Cytotec are properly educated on these potential risks in order to give informed consent. Cytotec can aid in vaginal delivery, and that help may be necessary at times. However, healthcare providers should still notify the patient of the risks associated with taking Cytotec while pregnant so that she can weigh the risks and benefits and make the best decision for herself and her baby. Patients that have previously had a C-section or uterine surgery should also be notified that they are at an increased risk of developing birth injuries.
Doctors should also be closely monitoring labor and delivery patients on Cytotec. Fetal monitoring strips are electronic heart rate monitors that wrap around the pregnant woman’s abdomen and can help doctors better detect heart rate changes, which may be signs of fetal anemia or hypoxia.
How a Cytotec Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
Medical malpractice lawsuits in regard to birth injuries are often incredibly complicated. Pregnant women who have been affected by a Cytotec injury should contact a medical injury lawyer–specifically a birth injury or birth trauma litigation group–and discuss what potential legal action they can take.
In order to prove medical negligence, victims need evidence, like their medical records. Medical records could indicate that Cytotec was used as a labor-inducing drug, which could have been the cause of your or your child’s birth injury. Our Ohio and Northern Kentucky birth injury lawyers can help gather all of the necessary information to help prove your doctor was negligent in providing you with Cytotec for off-label use.
If Your Child Suffered Birth Injuries Due to Cytotec, Call the Birth Injury Attorneys at TLF Today
If you’ve experienced a Cytotec-related birth injury caused by negligent medical staff, TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm is here to help you with your case. With over 50 years of experience trying various personal injury cases, including birth injury cases, we have the expertise necessary to help you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. Fill out our online form or call us at (800) 698-4054 to schedule your free consultation. We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only have to pay us if we win your case.