Childbirth is an extremely delicate process where two lives are at stake: the mother and the infant. The responsibility of preserving both lives falls heavily on the doctor and the level of expertise and experience behind him or her.
There are certain cases, often during a difficult delivery or overdue pregnancy, when labor has to be induced. Labor induction is exactly as it sounds—labor is intentionally stimulated during the procedure, using medication or other techniques in order to mitigate risks involving the wait for natural birth to occur. Labor induction is a risky procedure in itself, and one particular study at least has linked it with the risk of autism. Alexandra Sifferlin of Time Magazine reports:
In a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, women who needed to jumpstart their labor or artificially speed up delivery were up to 23% more likely to have children diagnosed with autism than those who didn’t avail themselves of these methods.
Researchers from the Duke University Medical Center analyzed over 625,000 live births, and found that 5,500 children contracted autism—somehow associating (but with caution) the risk of complications with the direct stimulation and contraction of the uterus as a way of speeding up childbirth. Out of all 625,042 births observed, 1.3% of the autistic children were boys and 0.4% were girls.
Autism might seem like an exclusively inborn condition, but previous exploratory studies have indicated possible correlations between direct physical intervention during childbirth and the risk of developmental disorder. In the procedure, something could go very wrong and result to birth-related complications. When parents are clear that their child has developed autism or other developmental disorder as a result of childbirth procedure, they seek out some form of redress by consulting with experienced New York birth injury lawyers from firms, such as the Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, to file a birth injury lawsuit.
Birth injury lawsuits are a specific type of medical malpractice claim where either a medical professional or institution could be sued for failing to administer reasonable care that resulted in inadvertently causing physical harm to the patient or the child during pregnancy or delivery. Such injury should have resulted to a lifetime disability, which would have significantly hampered an active and fulfilling life for the affected individual.
While autism isn’t exactly a life-threatening condition, it, nonetheless, adversely affects a child’s cognitive and learning development. Autistic children find it difficult to communicate normally with their peers due to impediments in the internal mechanisms of communication, such as speech, understanding, and self-expression.
In the event that a child’s autistic state is suspected, and is attributed to medical malpractice, it’s important to know if your assumption could hold any basis or substance, and find out how far you could take your claim to get justice. Consult with a skilled NYC birth injury lawyer if you must pursue a case where the responsible parties should be held accountable for their negligence where a child has been essentially deprived of the chance to live a healthy, normal life.
(Source: Induced Labor Linked to Higher Autism Risk, TIME, August 13, 2013)