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Misoprostol use in labor can cause birth injuries or even death

The drug Misoprostol, brand name Cytotec, is an ulcer drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a label for the drug that specifically speaks about the dangers of administering Misoprostol during labor or pregnancy. The FDA clearly states that use of the drug in an off-label manner during or after labor is not an approved use of the drug.

Sadly, many doctors continue to inappropriately use this drug to help soften the cervix or even after delivery to reduce bleeding. In some cases, women suffer uterine ruptures after receiving Misoprostol during labor. Uterine rupture can lead to severe bleeding, an emergency uterine removal, ending fertility or even death of the mother, the baby or both.

The risk of this catastrophic side effect is increased in women who have had previous C-sections or other uterine surgery and who have multiple previous births. Many times, doctors do not advise their patients of the serious risk involved in using this medication in an off-label manner.

For many hospitals, time is money

Hospitals and the medical staff who work in them have an interest in treating as many patients as possible. Although there may be no risk to your unborn baby, a doctor could decide to medically speed up your labor process. The sooner you're finished and sent home, the sooner the hospital can admit another patient. Labors that last several days can seem like a big inconvenience in that kind of situation. Administering a drug to help speed up labor may seem like a reasonable thing to do, even if the intervention isn't medically necessary. Unfortunately, certain ways of doing it pose a serious risk.

Giving women in labor Misoprostol to speed up the thinning and dilation of the cervix can help speed up those biological processes during labor. Unfortunately, in some cases, Misoprostol causes uterine tearing. This can interrupt blood flow to the baby, resulting in serious birth injuries. It can also result in the death of the mother or infant. Sometimes, it permanently ends a woman's ability to have future children. These risks far outweigh any minimal benefit from the drug. They're also the reason why the FDA has not approved the use of the drug during labor and advises against the practice.

An attorney can fight for you after a birth injury

When a doctor makes a mistake or fails to adhere to best practices, patients suffer. Working with an experienced Maryland birth injury attorney can help explore your options. An attorney can help you file a medical malpractice claim as well as a civil lawsuit if necessary. Pushing back with financial penalties is often the only way to change the way medicine is practiced at a certain facility. You can help prevent this off-label medicating from happening to anyone else in the future.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
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