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Improper Pitocin Administration Leads to Infant Death

Several Million Dollar Medical Malpractice Settlement

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Our pregnant client presented to the hospital with contractions. Hours passed, and although the baby’s vitals remained in an acceptable range, our client’s obstetrician started her on a high dose of Pitocin — a drug to augment labor. The fetal monitor recorded intermittent variable decelerations — abrupt decreases in the fetal heart rate lasting longer than 15 seconds, but less than 2 minutes. In addition, contractions were noted to be occurring as frequently as every 90 seconds.

These warning signs should have told our client’s medical providers that the Pitocin administration was diminishing the baby’s oxygen levels and the drug should have been discontinued. Instead, the drug’s infusion rate was increased. For the next several hours, several other warning signs were exhibited in the baby’s vitals, yet Pitocin administration continued.

Eventually, the baby’s heart rate baseline began to elevate between decelerations — a clear sign that the baby was fighting for oxygen — yet Pitocin was continued. An urgent C-Section was eventually ordered, but it was not performed until 47 minutes after the initial order. The baby was delivered essentially lifeless and passed away 4 days later.

Our lawyers argued the continued administration of Pitocin resulted in the baby’s death. Rosen Louik & Perry settled this case for several million dollars.