Does anyone know whether there is any way of finding out more about birth family medical history, purely to help support the child? I have no interest in their full medical history, but my LO is showing some signs of breathing problems quite often, but they are very young and the doctor is reluctant to diagnose asthma yet, unless there is a family history...and I have no idea.
I've asked the SW to make another approach to BPs (not heard yet whether I'm even allowed to ask this) - is there anything else I can do?
I think the simple answer is no, there is nothing you can do. You have no right to see the birth family's medical history and to do so would breach data protection laws. Sorry. It is very frustrating, isn't it.
Thanks Pica, I can appreciate no-one wants to diagnose when it could be ambiguous. LO has been hospitalised twice lately with the diagnosis of "viral-induced wheeze / query asthma" but also has wheezy coughing episodes when she has no other viral symptoms, for example when going into cold air, or suddenly in the middle of the night when otherwise well. To be honest, if she has one more episode they will probably stop hesitating and diagnose her, it just would have been nice to know!
Can you ask the GP for a referral? DS 3yrs was finally diagnosed with asthma after 2yrs of me keeping on at them and him ending up in hospital. I've also been back to ask for further referral as they just keep giving him antibiotics or steroids, he was seen as a matter of urgency and had chest X-ray done and was given pencilin for what they found. He's having further tests next week. (This is extreme case) but do push for referral if you feel LO is just not getting better.
We had a very similar issue but we have bmum's full medical history but nothing from bdad. We were told they'd probably wait till a slightly older age to make a firm diagnosis but the treatment was the same either way. Can you ask what the difference is between the treatments based on diagnosis (rather than symptoms)? There may be little in it.
As a birth parent I have included any relevant medical problems for my son. Including epilepsy and a family history of cancer. However I have withheld the fact one of my ovaries have split and I suffer poly cystic ovaries as these won't affect him. (he just doesn't have them)
Same as broken bones etc. These are irrelevant as there is no underlying cause (maybe dangerous sports but That comes with the territory)
I think as a responsible birth parent these things should be included. And I also would be more than happy to answer health questions if they were put to me so long as the only concern was my sons health
That's absolutely right Miracle - I don't want a full history, as I too feel that would be intrusive and unnecessary. I would however love the kind of information you've shared, about medical conditions that run in the family, such as asthma, epilepsy, etc or indeed any allergies that a lot of the family have (if serious, i.e. bee allergy or similar). It would just mean I could answer when the GP asks me if there is a "history of X" or not.
I completely respect the rights of birth families to control their personal information, and in their shoes I'm sure I would be selective about the information I shared too.
And DrS you make a brilliant point there - all I really want to know is whether we could try a low dose steroid inhaler, instead of repeatedly resorting to high-dose steroid tablets. It may be that they would be willing to give that a go, in which case I don't care what label they put on the wheeziness if it works!
As far as rights to ask for medical history goes I am afraid I don't think you have any and it is frustrating. One of my DCs had a childhood issue which kids generally grow out of, and which runs in families. They did duly grow out of it, but it would have been reassuring to know that other family members had done the same! There is never anything to stop you approaching the birth family either via the SW or in letterbox, but I wouldn't be hopeful of a quick response in many cases.
As far as asthma goes, my DD had very similar symptoms although not requiring hospitalisation, and the GP was happy to put her on a low dose preventer inhaler which has been very effective. I don't think they needed to make a formal asthma diagnosis to do so and they didn't mention family history. Id focus your efforts on badgering the doctors to be honest! Best of luck.