Brain Awareness Week is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.
Whilst brain damage can occur by high impact head injuries, infections and congenital disorders, we concentrate here on avoidable brain damage caused by medical mistakes, in particular injury through oxygen starvation at birth causing Cerebral Palsy (CP) because of lack of oxygen and a failure to perform a caesarean section early enough or at all.
CP refers to neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood. Of course, in many cases, the cause of CP is unknown. Possible causes include genetic abnormalities, congenital brain malformations, maternal infections or fevers.
CP affects the motor area of the brain’s outer layer (called the cerebral cortex which controls muscle movement) either during pregnancy or due to a traumatic birth. The term cerebral refers to the brain; palsy refers to the permanent loss or impairment of motor function.
The signs of CP usually appear in the early months of life, although specific diagnosis may be delayed until age two years or if mild, maybe not until they reach age four or five. Some warning signs are as follows:-
In a Baby Younger Than six Months of Age
- The head lags when picked up or lying on their back
- Feels stiff/ floppy
- When picked up, the legs get stiff and they cross or scissor
In a Baby Older Than six Months of Age
- Doesn’t roll over in either direction
- Cannot bring hands together
- Has difficulty bringing hands to mouth
- Reaches out with only one hand whilst keeping the other fisted
In a Baby Older Than 10 Months of Age
- Crawls in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg
- Cannot stand even holding onto support
Today the Child Brain Injury Trust is the leading voluntary sector organisation providing emotional and practical support, information and learning opportunities for families and professionals affected by childhood acquired brain injury across the UK (ie: CP or other traumatic, medical or illness-caused damage).
Looking after a child with CP is expensive due to the need for full-time care, even as they grow older, meaning many parents cannot work which affects the family’s finances. Severe brain damage may result in the need for expensive equipment such as voice or face recognition devices and electric wheelchairs and adapted vehicles, as well as the need to attend special schools, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.
Should your child have suffered brain damage as a result of a traumatic birth, delayed caesarean section or other medical mistake, then we are here to help. Lysander Law’s specialist medical negligence solicitors provide a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement for their legal fees and offer an expert, professional and personal service for all of their clients. Contact us today for a no obligation chat.