While we were in Kenya, we performed "housecalls" for the villagers that could not travel to Kitale. One of the sadder cases we encountered involved a six-year-old girl. Her mother believed that the reason her daughter was not able to walk was due to something she had done. After an examination of the child's posture and listening to her mother relate an arduous labor that deteriorated into an emergency cesarean section, we postulated a diagnosis. The child's medical condition was in all likelihood due to an anoxic/hypoxic injury acquired during the delivery. The child prognosis is indeed ominous.
Decerebrate vs. Decorticate Injury
A decerebrate posturing is a more severe type of brain injury than decorticate. Decerebrate posturing is due to an injury to the brainstem, while decorticate posturing is caused by nerve damage between the brain and the spinal cord. Thinking in primitive terms, when a person exhibits decorticate posturing, their defensive mechanism is still intact, while the decerebrate patient displays an open vulnerability.
The prognosis for both diagnoses is gloomy, however it is crucial to seek medical care immediately after suffering this type of injury. If acutely recognized and treated early there may be a reversible component of the injury.
One of the Volunteers4Humanity goals is to provide specialists to review and propose treatment regimes to patients we encounter. Without volunteers, healthcare professionals, and sponsors we would be unable to provide the care. Please consider donating to our humanitarian organization.