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jaholland82 06-04-2012 06:45 PM

Has this happened to any one?  I'm looking into whether or not there is enough evidence to file a malpractice lawsuit and anyones response would be appreciated.


My son was a week overdue so I was induced with pitocin. The Dr started me on the drip at 7 am. No labor so she kept increasing the dose. She broke my water at 1 pm and I started contracting approx 1:30 pm. My contractions started slowing down so she increased the pitocin drip to the max (I feel it was turned up way too high way to quick) There was a fetal monitor attached to the babies head while he was in the birth canal. I was on the pitocin drip for 18 solid hours without anyone even mentioning a c section. He was delivered at 1:22 am blue with the cord wrapped around his neck. They cleaned out his nose and mouth and handed him to me quickly. After breathing for about 5 minutes he turned a normal color. (I heard that the blue color is normal) The Dr delivered the placenta in 4 quickly left.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Approx 2 hours later we noticed that he was breath rapid short breaths. There was no Dr around at the time (small hospital) so we asked the nurses if he was ok. They all responded the same that he was ok and newborn babies breathe irregularly (they do, but not like this). We knew something was wrong. 10 hours after delivery the Dr come to see us. We stated our concerns and she gave us the same response as the nurses. We urged her to check him to set our minds at ease. She listened to his lungs, picked him up, and rushed him away. Right away a nurse came in our room and told us that the Dr was just going to check him real quick and everythings fine. When the Dr returned 30 minutes later she informed us that xrays showed something in his lungs and he was in an ambulance on his way to another hospital. He stayed at the other hospital for 7 days with an IV in his head giving him constant antibiotics.


Since birth he has been on several steroids, antibiotics, inhalers, breathing treatments, and he has had several hospital/ER visits and stays. We have a few Drs that he has seen that have actually told us and documented that they believe that he was in fetal distress, inhaled meconium and it sat in his lungs for 10 hours damaging them before anything was done. The fact that the placenta came out in several pieces and we were given no explaination as to why AND that it was never documented. He was given no antibiotics until they discovered problems in the xrays. They did not suction him at all. He's 8 now and still struggles. I had similar complications with my 2nd baby. Labor kept stopping. My new Dr took a different approach with the pitocin (nothing else would work, not even breaking my water) He was very cautious after I explained to him earlier about what happened to my oldest. Hes a healthy baby boy. The way the pitocin was administered made all the difference. 

fruitfulmomma 06-04-2012 07:03 PM

I would say yes to at least enough to consult with a lawyer, but it has been eight years? I would think you are passed the statue of limitations. 

jaholland82 06-04-2012 07:36 PM

Statute of limitations where I live is 3 years upong discovery. In this case there hasn't been discovery yet. With minors it's until they are 18.

rnra 06-04-2012 08:57 PM

Some things to keep in mind...


*In most births (even those with meconium), suctioning is not recommended.  If the baby is breathing/crying well, no suctioning is indicated--even if meconium is present.

*It is considered normal for a newborn to take up to ten minutes to reach normal blood oxygen saturation levels and have good color.

*Depending on your source, 7-40% of newborns are born with cords wrapped around their necks.  

*Why would antibiotics have been started before the xrays?  Were there other indications that something was wrong?  Did you have a fever?

katelove 06-05-2012 04:13 AM

I'm sorry for your experience and that your son is still suffering the effects.

In addition to the PPs remarks it is probably worth noting that the evidence doesn't support the use of antibiotics to treat meconium aspiration syndrome so unless there was other evidence of infection that probably wasn't an oversight.

As far as the way the pitocin was used it really depends on how the CTG looked. If you weren't having regular, effective ( producing cervical dilation) contractions and the CTG was reassuring then increasing the pitocin was really the only option. There's not much point making the decision to induce and then not giving an effective dose of drugs. As you had internal monitoring the trace should be quite a good one so it would be a matter of gettIng someone look at it to see if there was evidence of distress.

There is also evidence that MAS is more likely the result of longer term antenatal exposure to mec stained fluid than acute exposure during labour. Unless the CTG shows clear signs of hypoxia it may be hard to prove it was related to your care during labour.

The placenta being removed piecemeal is probably neither here nor there in terms of your son's care. Some placentas are quite fragile. It may be a sign that the person who delivered it was too early and too aggressive with the cord traction but it would be hard to prove and not actually a problem unless you experienced ill effects from retained products.

Based on what you've told us here it sounds like the biggest issue is the staff's failure to recognize respiratory distress in the 10 hours after he was born. Again though this is going to be hard to prove 8 years after the fact unless they've documented signs of distress but failed to act on them.

Sorry to sound pessimistic. Obviously without seeing your notes I'm only speculating based on what you wrote in your post. If you can afford it, I agree it's worth having the notes reviewed. Even if you don't have a case at least you'll know one way or the other.

jaholland82 06-05-2012 08:54 AM

Thanks for the responses. For pitocin to be in your system for 18 hours I've learned is dangerous. In my opinion, the fact that they turned it up as high as they did as abruptly as they did is insane. According to some of the research I have been doing, a c section should have been offered. Also, pitocin has the effect of making the contractions stronger. When using too much pitocin, it can cause your uterus to push the placenta so hard that it will virtually explode. We do have it all on video, Drs notes, and several witnesses. I'm still welcoming feedback

rnra 06-05-2012 04:38 PM

I do think it's worth having the case reviewed by a legal professional if you can afford it.  They'll be able to look at it more objectively than we can with the limited information you have posted.


As far as the 18 hours of Pitocin, I'm genuinely interested to see the articles/research you have indicating that this alone is dangerous.  Can you post the links?


From what you've said above, it does not sound like you had a placental abruption (I'm guessing this is what is meant by "exploding" placenta).  Although it is certainly not pleasant to have the placenta delivered in pieces, if you didn't have any complications from retained placental fragments (such as major hemorrhage after delivery) then it's going to be incredibly hard to convince a court that any harm was caused.


I promise I'm not trying to attack you, just to share some thoughts that I believe are worth considering while investigating this.

jaholland82 06-05-2012 08:55 PM

I know your not attacking me I appreciate the feedback. I just forgot to mention those things in the first post. The 18 hours on pitocin being dangerous was told to me by an OBGYN. I knew something happened to him when he was born, I just didn't see it from this view point until I had my 2nd child recently. They were incredibly similar as far as  the difficulty I had with going into labor and staying in labor. I actually struggled more with my 2nd than the 1st but hes healthy. I guess thats where it confuses me.


Over the course of years that my son has seen several different drs and speciallist I've collected little bits and pieces of info and opinions. It's incredibly frustrating. Although his health has improved some with the proper medication, it will still be something he will have to live with for the rest of his life. If anything, I just want to know what happened. Thank you for the insight though, it is welcome.

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