Warning over improper use of oxytocin ‘long overdue’

Posted July 22, 2014
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A recent warning about the problems that can arise when oxytocin is used to induce labour will hopefully lead medical professionals to reconsider how the drug is used in Canadian hospitals, says Toronto medical malpractice lawyer Aleks Mladenovic.

As the Edmonton Jounal reports, the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) reviewed 74 cases between 2002 and 2012 involving the administration of oxytocin during labour and found problems including “delays in detecting, appreciating and acting on abnormal fetal heart rate, inductions performed for no medically valid or compelling reason, and insufficient staff to monitor a woman being intravenously infused with oxytocin.”

“In these cases, the clinical outcome for babies was often a catastrophic injury or death, ” says the CMPA.

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