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can I get access to my sons medical records(7 Posts)
My son was in the SCU for the first week of his life, actually it was after about day 3 he had to go in for 7 days, I feel it was slightly the blame of the midwifes not picking up on things and it was only because I had already had 2 children previously that I knew the signs were wrong. He was shaking and not feeding. They assured me that all babies do a ahaking thing with their arms every now and again as babies do that. I sort of got that. It was when he became jauncice, again a very common thing, then I became more anxious. His legs then started shaking, the doctor said his heartbeat was too fast. he was taken into SCU and all they told me was that he had an infection. I suppose at the time I should have questioned it more but in that situation all you want is for them to make them better and to get them home. We left the hospital after the 7 days in SCU ok but if im honest i always sort of knew that he was "different" He is very clever and has always preferred the company of adults to that of children in his early years although this year in year 1 at school he has made quite a few friends which is nice. He now has a full statement of need at school thanks to them and his pre school. Does anyone else have any similar case
I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are seeking to access the records to pursue legal action.
With that assumption in mind, here are is something to consider. In order to receive a finding in your favour in a case of medical negligence, you need several things...
1) you need to find evidence in the medical records that there was gross negligence or willful misconduct (and medical professionals know how to write notes to keep themselves "safe" more often than not)
2) you need to find a solicitor to represent you based upon this evidence, and more importantly, physicians/midwives who will testify under oath that those who cared for your son did so negligently. The medical profession is an "old boys' club" and they will protect each other at nearly all costs - until they decide someone is not worth protecting, then they will throw them to the wolves.
3) this is most important (and hardest to prove, and why so few cases make it to "successful" completion) you need to prove that your son's challenges now are directly and intimately related to an infection caused by or worsened by the treatment or lack thereof by the medical team. You see, if DC1 had a similar early course and ended up profoundly disabled, DC2 had the same start and is a high-achieving neurotypical gem of a child and your DS is DC3, you can't prove conclusively that the infection and situation surrounding it was causative. It is not uncommon for babies to contract infections at birth, and the source of infection is almost always their mother (take group B strep or herpetic conjunctivitis, for example). These are all defences that are bound to come up if the case makes it to trial, and the defense's job will be to blame you. This can be soul destroying.
IMHO, it might be in your best interest to take the money, time and considerable emotional resources required for mounting a battle against someone you feel it was slightly the blame of and instead put it toward supporting your DS to develop as fully and well as he can.
you can get access to your son's and your own notes, there's some info here you need to put a written request in to the hospital but you might find if you ring them they'll send you a form out. Try calling PALS, they should be able to help you. I got a copy of my maternity notes after a traumatic delivery, just having the information helped me understnd what had happened, I didn't want to take legal action.
thank you both for your replies. I dont want to seek any sort of compensation. I just thought if i could have a look at what actually what went on in that week we may be able to help him with his time at school. his behaviour lately has been quite awful. i suppose i am clutching at straws at this point. He has never had a diagnosis as such and is basically classed as special needs with behavioural difficultiies. I feel I came across a bit bitter and twisted. that was not my intention. to any mid wifes out there my apoligies! I just want the best for my boy. He has a fantastic team around him at school. They are always there to support us and have only been helpful from day one. thank you again
My experience is similar to Ninja's. Best of luck, boy1.
boy1 I am sorry for assuming you were considering pursuing legal action - when you mentioned blame and used the word "case", that was where my mind jumped to (and living next door to America, the most litigious country in the world, tends to skew my vision, I guess).
In all likelihood, "answers" to your ds's behavioural issues are less likely to come from the medical records, but if they come from anywhere, it'd be brain imaging (specifically MRI).
Significant behavioural challenges can stem from damage to the frontal lobe, as that is the part of the brain that controls executive function (impulsivity, mood, aggression etc). As you said he had an infection, it is not impossible that there has been some lasting damage. With that said, it is even more likely that anything found would also be non-specific, or nothing will be found.
I hope you can find what you need to know, and wish you all the best with your little man.
No need to aplogise Beemom, your thoughts are very much appreciated. I know I may come to a dead end with this one, but I feel we and all the team around my boy have explored every other avenue. You know your stuff. Thanks.
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