Can Birth Injury Cause Autism?

The mystery of what causes children to be born with autism — a developmental disorder that is sharply on the rise across the United States — has gained increasing attention in the medical community in recent years. From the standpoint of a birth injury attorney in New York City, one of the most significant developments has been the suggestion that birth injury may be one of the causes of autism. Factors such as delayed Caesarean sections, oxygen deprivation, and compression of the skull and neurological pathways during delivery have long been associated with conditions such as cerebral palsy, and often form the basis for medical malpractice lawsuits. Now, a 2011 study found that fetal distress during labor might be linked to the risk of autism. It has even been reported that autistic children are 12 times more likely to suffer birth trauma or complications during delivery than their non-autistic siblings.

Sadly, many such birth injuries are avoidable, and would not occur if not for medical errors, lack of skill, or negligent care on the part of attending physicians or nurses, particularly when complications arise during delivery. Parents who put their faith in medical professionals during one of the most important moments in their life have a right to expect competent care for their new baby. It is no wonder that some of the most emotionally charged medical malpractice cases involve birth injury.

Diagnosis of autism often does not occur until a child is three to five years old, but that does not preclude connecting the condition to birth injury. While New York law normally requires malpractice cases to be filed within two-and-a-half years of the injury, the timeframe for cases involving infants is extended to 10 years. If you believe your child was injured due to medical malpractice at birth, however, you should not wait to consult a knowledgeable New York birth injury attorney. Contact Rich & Rich, P.C. for a free consultation today.

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