Can Cervidil Cause Injury To My Child?

Pregnant woman holding blanket, feeling abdominal pain, risk of miscarriage

Induction of labor is when medical staff use drugs or other tools to stimulate a woman’s body to get the labor and delivery process started. Almost 20% of all births in the US start with some sort of induction. One drug that is used to stimulate labor is Cervidil. While it is commonly used, it can have some major side effects. Some may even put the baby at risk for birth injuries or even death. Many medical malpractice claims have been filed against doctors and the makers of the drug because of these outcomes.

Basics of Cervidil

Cervidil is a medication that is used by pregnant women to help induce labor. The purpose of the drug is to prepare the woman’s cervix for labor and delivery. To use the drug, a healthcare professional inserts it into the woman’s vagina near her cervix. It is recommended that this drug only be used in a hospital setting.

The generic name of the drug is dinoprostone. The medicine is a synthetic hormone that is also made naturally in the woman’s body when she is at or near her due date to soften her cervix. Using Cervidil is supposed to help the body start this natural process of producing the hormone to start the ripening of her cervix. This needs to happen to make sure that the baby can pass through the birth canal when it is time for delivery.

After applying Cervidil, the woman needs to lay down for at least two hours. After this time, she may be allowed to get up and walk around or try different birthing positions to help with any pain. She should expect to be checked frequently to see if labor has started or if there are changes in her cervix. She should be monitored closely for any changes or any signs of minor or severe side effects. The drug should only be used for 12 hours or less. It can be taken out and side effects should wear off quickly once the drug is no longer in contact with the cervix.

 Cervidil should not be used on certain women including those who had complications during pregnancy, those who are older than 30, or those who are more than 40 weeks pregnant. The drug has been found to have an increased risk of postpartum issues for these women including more adverse reactions and a higher possibility of disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Side Effects of Cervidil

There are many minor side effects that may happen after Cervidil has been inserted. Some of these will more than likely subside after the body gets used to the new medicine. These can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, or diarrhea. If you have any of these side effects, it is likely that a medical professional will remove the drug from your body.  

However, some side effects can be more serious and need further medical attention. These include an uncommon fast or slow heartbeat, cool or pale skin, swelling, shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest, weak pulse, or trouble breathing. The majority of these side effects are rare.

The most serious side effect, the one that can cause child injuries, is if the drug causes overstimulation or hyperstimulation. This means that the woman goes into labor too quickly and the contractions are too fast and too intense. This can put the baby at risk because contractions that are synthetically stimulated may be too strong and can disrupt the oxygen supply to the baby.

Cervidil Child Injury Claims

As mentioned above, there are a few serious side effects of using Cervidil to induce labor. The first one is that it can cause the woman to have hyperstimulation and too intense contractions. This can lead to cutting off the baby’s blood or oxygen supply. This is dangerous and can lead to death or birth injuries.

The second serious side effect is when the drug is applied but it does not work correctly. The woman’s cervix is not prepared for birth when labor begins. This can put both the mother and the baby at a higher risk for birth injuries, infections, or the need for an emergency c-section.

Several legal birth injury claims have been made regarding child injuries after a woman has been given Cervidil. The claims include babies suffering from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. This is a lack of oxygen to the baby that generally leads to life-long complications like cerebral palsy. Other major claims include death of the baby and severe brain damage. Often, the medicine was applied correctly but then monitoring procedures were not followed.