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A hospital in Illinois has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle the case of a 7-year-old boy who allegedly suffered a brain injury at birth. The family had alleged that the obstetrician, as well as the labor and delivery nurse, failed to respond to the distress in the baby brought on by the drug Pitocin.

In the lawsuit, the family argued that the baby experienced a low heart rate and reduced oxygen flow caused by Pitocin. As a result of the doctors and staff not responding to the baby’s obvious distress, the child was born with metabolic acidosis and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. He has also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has limited mobility.

Pitocin is administered to induce labor. There has long been a debate about the benefits versus the risks of Pitocin. No doubt the debate will continue.

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