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Medical malpractice in autism-labor link?

Kentucky doctors might be looking closely at research showing a link between induced labor and autism. As in cases of birth injury, later developmental difficulties like autism may be ascribed to malpractice if doctors make the decision to induce. The study examined the North Carolina Detailed Birth Record and Education Research databases, finding 5,500 cases of autism spectrum disorder out of about 625,000 live births.

Induced labor is frequently chosen when a pregnant woman is past her due date or when there may be health problem with the baby or mother. Just over 23 percent of births were induced in 2008, according to U.S. Census Bureau records. The induction of labor involves the use of hormone medication or other methods to help the mother start having contractions and give vaginal birth. Caesarean sections had no apparent effect on autism rates.

Several conditions during a pregnancy have been linked to a child developing autism. Diabetes during pregnancy raises the chance of a child developing autism by 23 percent. Obesity during pregnancy made having an autistic child 67 percent more likely than did maintaining a normal weight during pregnancy. The research claimed that avoiding induction could reduce instances of autism in two out of every 1,000 male births. This number was statistically significant, according to the study.

Doctor or nurse errors or other medical malpractice may cause brain injuries or fatal injury during childbirth. This can be devastating not only to the parents of the baby, but to an entire family. A Kentucky attorney experienced in litigating cases of birth injury and long-term disabilities may be able to arrange a settlement for financial compensation and start those affected on the road to recovery.

Source: CBS News, "Induced labor may increase risk of autism in offspring", Michelle Castillo, August 12, 2013

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