Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

The Link Between Pitocin and Birth Injuries in Hillsborough County


Researchers developed oxytocin (Pitocin or “pit”) in the 1950s. Chemist Du Du Vigneaud won a Nobel Prize for his efforts. All these years later, pit is still the most widely-used labor induction drug in Florida. Since most labor and deliveries are scheduled inductions, pit is almost always part of the process. This drug has few side-effects and is quite effective. However, as outlined below, it has one major possible side-effect, and it might be too effective.

Doctors often schedule inductions for their own convenience, as well as for the convenience of the family. Unfortunately, the mother’s body may not be ready to give birth at a specific time, regardless of what the calendar says.

Nevertheless, many doctors issue standing orders for nurses to administer pit on an ongoing basis as soon as the mother gets settled in bed. These orders often include step-up provisions (i.e. if the mother does not progress in an hour or two, hospital staff increases the dose). Unbridled pit administration could set the scene for tragedy.

Pitocin and Labor and Delivery Injuries

As mentioned, many mothers are not biologically ready to give birth when they arrive for scheduled inductions. Whether they are ready or not, pit causes contractions, and these contractions could be intense.

This intensity often causes placental abruption. Pit-related contractions often put too much pressure on the mother’s myometrium (uterine muscle tissue). This pressure compresses the uterus and increases the chances of placental rupture. If that happens, the baby does not get the necessary nutrients and experiences severe distress.

Pitocin may cause similar issues even if the placenta remains connected to the uterus. Contractions compress the placenta like they compress the uterus. During contractions, the placenta does not give anything to the baby. And, the placenta must rest before it resumes its functions. If contractions come too hard and too close together, which is very possible with pitocin, basically the same thing could happen.

Doctors often respond to such emergencies by reducing the pit dose. Pitocin’s half-life is about three and a half minutes, so it is usually no longer effective after five or ten minutes. That sounds like a long time. But in a birth room, five minutes can literally be the difference between life and death. Oxygen-deprived babies usually develop permanent birth injuries after just five minutes of hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain).

Pitocin and Autism

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, researchers began to suspect that pitocin (oxytocin) may be related to autism. High pitocin doses may affect the brain’s oxytocin receptors. The resulting chemical imbalance could lead to problems like autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, and other developmental disabilities.

Recent evidence suggests that link may be present, especially if the baby had a pre-existing condition. Doctors should perform genetic screenings to ensure that no such predisposition exists, and it if does, they should use another labor-inducing drug.

Failure to do either of these things may violate the standard of care. This legal standard is very high in doctor-patient medical malpractice cases. So, damages in all pit-induced birth injury cases are often quite high.

Contact Tenacious Attorneys

A few moments of medical neglect could have lifelong effects on helpless newborns. For a free consultation with an experienced Brandon medical malpractice attorneys, contact Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).


Brandon Personal Injury
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations


101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521


248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716


401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682


13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2020 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab