Birth injuries

You will know that brain injuries may present in various ways ranging from developmental delays to cerebral palsy.

Birth Related Brain Injury

A birth related brain injury can be caused by oxygen deprivation, poor monitoring, neglect in administering drugs during pregnancy or delivery, failing to perform a timely caesarean section (C-section), use of excessive force during delivery, dropping an infant, and other trauma to the head affecting the brain.

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Cerebral Palsy is not easily defined and is used as an umbrella term to describe a group of non-progressive, non-contagious conditions that cause physical disability in human development. Cerebral refers to the affected area of the brain; and Palsy refers to disorder of movement. CP is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the young developing brain and can occur during pregnancy (about 75 percent), during childbirth (about 5 percent) or after birth (about 15 percent) up to about age three. Between 40% and 50% of all children who develop cerebral palsy were born prematurely. Premature infants are vulnerable, in part because their organs are not fully developed which increases the risk of hypoxic injury to the brain.
It can be difficult to distinguish between CP caused by damage to the brain caused by inadequate oxygenation and CP that arises from prenatal brain damage leading to premature delivery.

Brain damage in premature babies

 

PVL due to hypocarbia, hypoxia or ischaemia

Premature babies may suffer damage to the white matter of their brains. This type of brain damage is called Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL). When premature babies are assisted in their breathing by mechanical ventilation, the gas levels in their blood should be closely monitored. The levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide are particularly important for the health of the baby’s brain. Medical research has shown that if the pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood is allowed to remain low (called Hypocarbia) for an excessive period, this may result in white matter brain damage. Because premature babies are fragile and their condition can change rapidly, nursing and paediatric standards of care have developed to the point that expected levels of monitoring and care can significantly reduce the risk of severe harm.

Special Interest and Specialization

Paul’s special area of interest is children who have suffered severe injuries, specializing in birth injuries and the care of babies and children. The firm has had many exceptional results on behalf of children who have lost their sight and suffered brain damage through negligence in one way or another. He has extensively researched the topics to become a leading specialist in these complex claims.

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