Women are warned throughout pregnancy that medicine of any kind has the potential to harm their developing babies. During delivery, some women are given potentially dangerous medications to induce labor, enhance contractions, or dull the pain of childbirth. The negligent use of these medications can result in serious brain injury to the baby and even death.
At The Becker Law Firm, we represent families who have suffered harm because of dangerous medications and their use and misuse. Our Ohio dangerous medication attorneys can help you determine if medical negligence and the use of dangerous medications led to your or your child’s injuries.
We review cases involving harm caused by potentially dangerous medication, including:
- General anesthesia
- Anesthesia dosage errors
- Injury caused by intubation
- Failure to monitor the patient
- Failure to recognize complications
Call (440) 252-4399 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.
Medications Prescribed Before Labor
Many medications have not been adequately tested on pregnant women and so their effects on the women and their babies are not well-known before those drugs reach the marketplace. When those drugs cause injuries to the baby, the family may have a product liability lawsuit. In other cases, medications are well-known to cause injuries to unborn children. Doctors who prescribe them without verifying that their patients are not pregnant may be subject to medical malpractice lawsuits.
Many antidepressants, including Paxil and Prozac, can cause severe injuries, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), hearing loss, seizures, heart defects, and brain damage.
Other dangerous drugs include:
- Accutane (acne medication)
- Topomax (anti-seizure medication)
- Depakote (anti-seizure medication)
- Some antibiotics
- Anti-cancer drugs
Medications Given During Labor
- Anesthesia & Epidurals: Anesthesiologists are responsible for ensuring that the proper amount and types of medication are given to expectant mothers in the proper manner. Particularly with epidurals, where the medication is administered directly into the spine, there is no room for error. The wrong medication, wrong amount, or a needle inserted into the wrong place can have catastrophic effects on the mother and child.
- Cytotec (Misoprostol): Cytotec was originally created as an ulcer treatment drug, with warnings against use by pregnant women because it was linked to early abortions. As time went on, doctors began using Cytotec off-label (in a manner not prescribed by the drug’s manufacturer) as a cervical ripening agent because it causes uterine contractions and ripening of the cervix. Many doctors believe that Cytotec is more effective than Pitocin when the cervix is not ripe. In fact, Searle, the manufacturer, has stated that the drug carries risks of uterine rupture, uterine hyperstimulation, amniotic fluid embolism, and death. It may also cause premature birth and birth defects. Despite these warnings, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) supports continued use of Cytotec to induce pregnancy. It can be taken orally or inserted directly into the vagina.
- Pitocin (Oxytocin, Syntocinon): Like Cytotec, Pitocin is also a drug used to induce labor. It can cause contractions in the second and third stages of labor. The amount must be closely regulated, otherwise, there is a significant risk that of uterine hyperstimulation, which can cause fetal distress through rapid and strong contractions that restrict oxygen and blood delivery to the baby or even uterine rupture. Pitocin is given through an IV.
Call us at (440) 252-4399. We’ll speak with you and evaluate the details of your case free of charge. Because we take cases on a contingency basis, you won’t be charged any attorney fees unless compensation is recovered.