Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Pre-term Babies: Is Induced Labor Overused?

A recent study suggests they are. A research team led by Dr. Michael Kramer of McGill University found that the decision to induce labor has become “socially contagious.”
Kramer’s team examined data from all states on non-Hispanic white women for two different time periods. The first was 1992 to 1994. The second was 2002 to 2004.
The researchers found that the increase in pre-term births had risen along with the frequency of induced labor. During the periods studied, pre-term births increased from 6.5 percent in 1992 to 8.5 percent in 2004. The use of induced labor increased during the same period from 13.7 percent to 26 percent.
Previous studies have already established that the risk of post-delivery complications rises for pre-term babies. These complications can include the need to be put on a respirator, as well as other issues in later life.
The researchers also asked a related question about a rise in C-sections. They concluded that the increase in C-sections was not a major contributing factor to pre-term births. This is because most C-sections are not done when labor is induced early. Rather, C-sections are most often done after natural labor does not work.
The bottom line from the study, however, is clear enough. Inducing labor through the use of drugs can be tempting for doctors. But both doctors and pregnant women need to be clear that it carries an element of risk.
In other words, it is necessary to fight against the “social contagion” that tends to make inducing labor more common than it should be.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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