Perinatal asphyxia, more appropriately known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), is characterised by clinical and laboratory evidence of acute or subacute brain injury due to asphyxia. The primary causes of this condition are systemic hypoxemia and/or reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF). At Snowdrop we see many children who have suffered HIE. It is graded in rank of severity, grade 3 being the most severe.
Today we welcomed back a 23 month old little girl for her 5th assessment. She had suffered an HIE grade 3, which is severe and I first saw her when she was just 6 weeks old. Since that time, she has come along wonderfully and it was great to see her walk into Snowdrop today for the first time. She is now well ahead of her age level in visual cognition and auditory cognition, (30 months and 40 months respectively), her language is age appropriate in that she is now putting two words together in what is known as 'telegraphic speech' and her social development is also age appropriate. The only problems which remain are use of the left hand, which is coming along nicely and refinement of her walking, which as she has only been walking for a few weeks, may come naturally and will in any case continue to improve as we improve tactile performance in the left side limbs. Well done folks, I don't need to see you for a year! (we will keep in touch though in the meantime).
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