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Misoprostol For Labor Induction: Controversies Continue

In 2007, an Ohio mother suffered from severe birthing complications that eventually led to an emergency hysterectomy. While pregnancy complications can occur under even the best circumstances, the physicians responsible for this delivery administered a controversial labor induction drug known as misoprostol.

Misoprostol, often known by the brand name Cytotec, is a powerful drug that serves several different purposes. One of the drug's effects is to stimulate contractions. Many doctors use misoprostol to treat women after a miscarriage, for example. Some doctors also use misoprostol to induce labor. However, the FDA has not approved misoprostol for use on pregnant women and drug manufacturers issued specific warnings. No scientific studies or clinical trials have determined the risks. 

With this absence of consensus on whether misoprostol is safe as a labor induction drug, one would expect doctors and hospitals to avoid it. This does not appear to be the case. If an induced labor leads to injuries to either the mother or infant, a medical mistake may be to blame. Victims should consult with an experienced birth injuries lawyer.

Source: Contemporary Ob/Gyn, "Tracers, counts help defense in retained foreign object cases," Dawn Collins, Apr. 1, 2013 

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