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Can birth injuries or trauma lead to autism?

| May 18, 2020 | Birth Injuries

A great amount of focus on how birth injuries harm children centers around conditions like cerebral palsy. However, birth trauma may play a role in developmental disorders like autism as well. For many years, scientists and health professionals have studied autism yet have remained mystified by the disorder’s precise cause.

Finding an exact cause may remain out of reach, but some evidence suggests that birth injuries may play a role in the development of autism. A 2017 study indicates that fetuses and infants exposed to trauma have a higher risk of developing an autism disorder when compared with babies born without injury or trauma. Below is a brief breakdown of what the study revealed.

  • Injuries or complications occurring during birth resulted in a 10% increased risk of developing autism
  • Complications beginning before labor showed a 22% increased risk of autism development
  • Complications occurring before and during a baby’s birth brought a 44% increased risk of developing an autism disorder

The study also indicates that birth injuries that deprive a baby’s brain of oxygen are most likely to play a role in the development of autism. Other birth injuries linked to autism include:

  • Incorrect fetal position during birth
  • Exposed or prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Premature separation from the mother’s uterus of the placenta

Medical professionals receive training in how to address complications or trauma before they can harm an infant. When they fail to take the right action and birth injuries occur, families may pursue a malpractice claim.

Although autism may not threaten the life of your child, it can result in significant financial hardships for your family. The compensation acquired through a malpractice claim can help ensure that a child with autism receives proper medical care and has every opportunity to enjoy a full and happy life.


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