Birth Trauma and the Timing of Injury: Brain Imaging
Written By: Richard Halpern, Senior Counsel This article will touch on establishing the timing of newborn neurologic injury with the help of imaging of the brain. When a baby is diagnosed with cerebral palsy or other neurological injury, one of the questions you may have is whether the injury could have been prevented. The answer to this question will depend on when your baby was injured (timing) and how the baby was injured (mechanism). If it can be established that the brain injury occurred during labour and delivery, when mother and fetus were being cared for by doctors and nurses, you may have a claim against the care providers. Newborn neurologic injury can occur any time during pregnancy, during labour and delivery and during the first days and weeks of life. To succeed in a claim for birth injury, the personal injury lawyer representing the injured child must prove how and when injury occurred and that something could have been done to prevent that injury. Birth injury lawyers representing injured children must prove when injury occurred. How can you tell when the brain is injured? Very important clues about both how and when injury occurred will be found in images taken of the newborn brain in the first days of life. Usually, multiple images of the newborn brain need to be taken over the first couple of weeks, with early imaging, in the first 2 to 3 days, being very important. There are essentially three imaging techniques that doctors use to see the newborn’s brain. They can use:
- An Ultrasound scan;
- A CT scan, or
- An MRI scan.
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