Childbirth used to be extremely painful and had a high chance of infant or maternal death. Medications have made childbirth much safer for women in the western world. Unfortunately, the medications used to make childbirth easier and safer are sometimes the same medications that can cause preventable birth injuries. Incorrect administration, inaccurate dosing, and other medication mistakes can cause severe harm to infants and mothers.
Prescribing or Administering a Medication During Pregnancy That Harms the Baby
Women who are pregnant must be very careful of what they put in their bodies. While most people think of illicit drugs when they think of drugs that can harm an unborn child, prescription medications can also cause birth injuries or even fetal death. Many SSRI medications designed to treat depression such as Zoloft and Prozac are very dangerous to unborn children. Persistent pulmonary hypertension, cleft palate, and Spina Bifida are just some of the birth defects that may be caused by certain antidepression medications. Some antibiotic medications, acne medications, and seizure medications like Lamictal and Tegretol may also cause birth defects. Doctors who prescribe or administer these medications to pregnant women may be liable if the baby suffers a birth defect.
Improper Administration of Labor-Inducing Medications
If labor is not progressing normally, a doctor may decide to administer a labor-inducing medication. Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin. It is administered to women to speed up delivery. Unfortunately, this drug is linked to a higher risk of uterine rupture, excess bleeding, reduced fetal heart rate, and oxygen deprivation. Cytotec or misoprostol is not intended to induce labor, but it is sometimes used off-label to hasten labor. However, this medication has been shown to increase the chances of birth defects like facial paralysis, oculomotor dysfunction, and limb defects.
Administering the Wrong Medication or the Wrong Dose of Medication
Birth defects may also be caused by a doctor, nurse, or other medical staff making an error in the type or quantity of medication used during pregnancy or birth. Medication mistakes that can lead to birth injuries or stillbirth include:
Mixing up medications with similar names
Administering too much or too little of a medication
Failing to account for drug interactions
Failing to account for maternal drug allergies
Contact a Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
If you or your baby were harmed because of a medication mistake, you may be able to hold the negligent medical professional accountable and recover compensation for your losses through a birth injury claim. You may be entitled to financial recovery for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. A diligent Cook County medical malpractice attorney from Birth Injury Law Alliance can help. Call our office today at 312-945-1300 to schedule a free consultation.