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I think my sons Autism was caused by lack of oxygen at birth

(120 Posts)
WhatAMum01 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:36:34

My son is 5 and severely autistic and mentally disabled.when hexwas being born his heart rate slowed down and there was panic on the midwifes face ,she was flapping and only person delivering.it was an induced labour and they thought I might need a csection but he ended up coming out but it was prolonged.he screamed every day as a baby and rarely slept, I tried everything thinking it was reflux ,hes continued with the awful sleep and lives a incapacitated life. Life is very difficult for our family.im wondering would it be worthy to see a negligence lawyer as it's the way he will be for his whole life and I worry about him when I'll be gone and no longer able to care for him.we are barely getting by just now.have I left it too late ,is it even possible. Please be kind,I'm not looking for some crazy payday,just seeing if theres anything that could be done for him due to what i believe was delayed care.anybody been in this situation?thanks for reading.

EC22 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:38:38

Did he require neonatal care?

Inebriati Thu 10-Oct-19 21:41:41

You haven't left it too late, some problems don't show up straight away.
Start by jumping through all the hoops because you need to have everything documented; see your GP, get referred to various consultants, do all the appointments, get everything in writing.

I know its tough, but there's nothing a solicitor can do for you until you have a diagnosis and a clear idea of what happened.

stucknoue Thu 10-Oct-19 21:43:59

Autism no, latest research is that it's from brain development which means that they are already affect in utero. BUT brain damage could cause symptoms akin to autism.

Whether it's negligence comes down to whether they made mistakes during the birth, babies can suffer oxygen deprivation without it being anyone's fault. Ask for a review as a starting point, you can see what the notes say etc.

MoonlightBonnet Thu 10-Oct-19 21:44:16

You haven’t left it too late, but I’m afraid you shouldn’t be too hopeful. Was the only incident at birth a slowed heart rate or was there more that you haven’t shared? Oxygen deprivation at birth doesn’t cause autism, has he been diagnosed with other disabilities?

WhatAMum01 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:48:06

@Inebriati @stucknoue thank you for the good advice,will start by asking to see his hospital delivery information from my Gp,this is who will have it assume?or do the hospital keep that?

WhatAMum01 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:49:46

@EC22 no neonatal care ,he came home same day as he was my 3rd child and he cried from that day every single day unable to be comforted.

Lagatha Thu 10-Oct-19 21:51:31

The hospital will have the records.
PALS is probably your first step.
I know someone who has cerebral palsy who took legal action in his twenties and won a payout.

WhatAMum01 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:51:54

@MoonlightBonnet yes as far as I remember, there was pure panic on nurses face and a big phew when he was finally delivered. He took his time to cry.ive not got alot to go on.its just my gut knowing it went wrong.

WhatAMum01 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:53:18

@Lagatha thanks,what is Pals please?

Inebriati Thu 10-Oct-19 21:55:08

Also I should have said, make sure you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to.

Soontobe60 Thu 10-Oct-19 21:56:14

I assume that as part of his assessment the paediatrician has taken a full history of your pregnancy, delivery and early development? Autism isn't 'caused' by anything. It is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting speech, language and communication.
You need to ensure you have all the support you can get. When your child starts school you will fnd more support out there. Accept everything you can get!

betternamepending Thu 10-Oct-19 21:56:17

My nephew has ASD, as does my brother and father and my grandad. I have some suspicions about other family members (I come from a big family). I really believe that it is genetic. I don't think that it has anything to do with something preventable.

wishful2012 Thu 10-Oct-19 22:00:03

This could have been my birth with my son. He has a sever speech problem which he is recovering from with speech therapy. I don't know if this is anything to do with the birth or not

beckymum Thu 10-Oct-19 22:00:13

@WhatAMum01 oxygen deprivation at birth can cause brain damage. And maybe it's brain damage rather than autism that he has. What paediatricians have you seen so far?
My friend won a large settlement for her son who has severe cerebral palsy . None of the money is hers, it's there solely for his care needs, but this is a huge weight off her mind (not that he will outlive her anyway.)
Speak to a clinical negligence lawyer.
And good luck.

Lagatha Thu 10-Oct-19 22:05:28

@WhatAMum01
PALS is the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. Every hospital has one.
Before you go any further you need to know what is in the records. I wouldn't tell them why you are asking, you can just say you had a difficult labour and it's still on your mind all these years later and you feel you would benefit from a review of your notes.
Normally this would be done by you sitting down with a HCP like a midwife and you go through it together. They can explain it.
Then you can decide what to do. You might feel there is something there or you might feel reassured.

mumwon Thu 10-Oct-19 22:09:42

Get copy of medical records from hospital - PALs is
www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/nhs-services-and-treatments/what-is-pals-patient-advice-and-liaison-service/
To do a complaint you have to go through a formal process of writing a letter to the complaints process although for birth incident it may be a slightly different process. even for birth injury I think you will find that you still have to work through the system however get the records -read them & take them with you to solicitors who have experience in this subject for instance companies like this
www.teeslaw.com/insights/brain-injury-at-birth-signs-symptoms-and-causes/

WorriedSENMum Thu 10-Oct-19 22:12:47

No, this is not the reason for his ASD. It doesn't work that way!

EC22 Thu 10-Oct-19 22:13:59

This doesn’t sound like a hypoxia child- heart rates often drop just prior to delivery due to head compression, it is a normal phenomenon.

You can certainly ask to see your records/ get debriefed but I think this seems very unlikely to be the cause of your child’s difficulties.

EC22 Thu 10-Oct-19 22:14:46

*hypoxic

MintyMabel Thu 10-Oct-19 22:19:32

Wouldn’t an oxygen deprivation at birth require Neonatal care?

SD1978 Thu 10-Oct-19 22:20:36

Do you believe there was a lack of oxygen at birth, or is that documented? As others have said- approach hospital for medical records- if they D/C'd him on day of delivery, he must have been assessed as fit for discharge, which if there was a birth with complications would surely be quite unusual? It will be a long process- and you need to speak to a lawyer, they can determine the paperwork that you need to see if there is a case. The Autism as others have said is an In utero development issue, and to try and prove any other learning difficulties were birth related will need to start with the records and see if they documented any concerns

AutoAnswer Thu 10-Oct-19 22:20:52

Has your son ever had a brain scan?
Whilst ASD may not be caused by lack of oxygen, a lack of oxygen caused a huge bleed in my daughters premature brain thus being thought of as a potential “reason” for her autism.

YobaOljazUwaque Thu 10-Oct-19 22:22:16

You are really not unreasonable to be desperate for answers and for a narrative to explain how your family came to have your particular circumstances.

However, science doesn't work according to appealing narrative structures. The same child can be affected by ASD which they would have had anyway whatever happened during birth, and also be affected by disabilities that could be linked to an oxygen issue during labour, without the two being causally linked.

I don't have any advice for you but I don't think seeking someone to blame is helpful.

AutoAnswer Thu 10-Oct-19 22:22:24

Also a brain scan now would show the result of such lack of oxygen still. It doesn’t go away.

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