Inappropriate Use of Labor Induction Due to Medical Malpractice

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Injuries Caused by the Inappropriate Use of Labor Induction Due to Medical Malpractice is Serious

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 25% of first time mothers require induction to start their labor, while 75% of first time mothers go into labor on their own. Induction techniques may be needed for a variety of reasons, and the use of induction in general is not unusual. While there is not an issue with the use of induction techniques when needed, there are times when induction techniques are not used appropriately, or are not indicated, meaning the mother could have gone into labor on her own, or a c-section was indicated. In circumstances such as these, if they lead to complications with the mother and child, it is considered to be medical malpractice. This is because the inappropriate use of labor induction due to medical malpractice is a serious problem.

Indications for Labor Induction

Labor may be induced for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • A woman’s labor has not started naturally and she is past her due date by almost two weeks (postterm pregnancy)
  • Premature rupture of the membranes – when a woman’s water breaks, but she does not go into labor, it is necessary for labor to begin as it creates a greater risk for infection if the baby is not delivered within a certain period of time
  • Fetal growth restriction – Induction may be indicated if the baby has stopped growing but is full term, and is underweight as a result of this
  • Oligohydramnios – The amniotic fluid level is too low, making it unsafe for the baby
  • Macrosomia – If the baby is very large (8lbs, 130z or more), the physician may choose to plan an induction to prevent the baby from becoming too big to deliver vaginally
  • Preeclampsia – Preeclampsia is considered a medical emergency. If it is not able to be controlled, delivery of the baby is necessary
  • Placental abruption – the placenta becomes detached from the uterus before delivery, necessitating immediate delivery

Complications From Labor Inducing Drugs

Complications from the use of labor inducing drugs include the following:

  • Fetal distress
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac arrhythmia 
  • Head trauma
  • Infection
  • Seizures
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Maternal death
  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia
  • Asphyxia
  • Hypoxic birth injuries
  • Brain damage
  • Pelvic hematoma
  • Uterine rupture
  • Bleeding after delivery
  • Failed induction

These are just a few of the many potential complications due to labor induction.

Reasons for Complications From Labor Induction Due to Medical Malpractice

While there are complications that occur that are not the result of any error made, there are times when complications can be avoided entirely. Examples of medical malpractice in relation to labor induction include the following:

  • Administering too high of a dose of labor inducing drug (i.e. Pitocin)
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress during the induction, leading to harm of the baby
  • Opting for labor induction when the baby is not in a position that is conducive for a vaginal delivery (i.e. transverse or breech)
  • Use of Pitocin when the cervix is not yet ready for labor
  • Use of labor induction in a woman who has had a prior c-section with a classical incision or other major uterine surgery
  • Allowing prolonged or arrested labor to continue
  • Failing to intervene when there is severe variability or decelerations in contractions
  • Opting for induction when a c-section is indicated
  • If the mother has a genital herpes infection that is active
  • If umbilical cord prolapse is present
  • Failing to recognize maternal distress

Call Our Law Firm if the Inappropriate Use of Labor Induction Injuries Was the Result of Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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