Pitocin: nurses broke hospital rules, large verdict for patients.

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The patient was admitted to the hospital as scheduled for childbirth.

She was two weeks past due, her water had broken and her labor had begun.

She and her husband at least twice expressly declined the hospital's nurse midwife's recommendation that pitocin be started, based on negative information about pitocin they were given in their natural childbirth class.

Pitocin Given Over Patient's Objections

The hospital's nurse midwife told the couple that their obstetrician had ordered pitocin and she was going to give it even though they had twice declined. At this point the mother was several hours into her labor with sixty- to ninety-second contractions at five- to seven-minute intervals.

Failure of Nursing Communication

There was an apparent breakdown in communication between the nurse midwife and the obstetric nurse. Each of them separately seemed to have carrier out what they believed to be the physician's order to increase the pitocin hourly until adequate labor had been achieved.

Nurses Violated Hospital's Pitocin Rules

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