Baby’s injuries were not caused by infection, doctor tells jury

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A baby boy who suffered from brain damage after he was allegedly assaulted had no signs of infection to explain his injuries, a court heard.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the parents of the four-month-old baby boy were playing the latest Call Of Duty video game while the tot lay in bed with a severe brain injury.

It is alleged the child’s 27-year-old mother was queueing up at midnight to buy the game when her boyfriend assaulted the infant by shaking him.

When the mother returned home in the early hours of November 13 2012, the baby was put to bed and the couple played the game for a couple of hours.

Later that day their son was found to be ‘floppy, pale and unresponsive’ according to a GP.

The court heard Barnsley Hospital and Sheffield Children’s Hospital carried out more than 20 tests on the youngster, including a CT scan, an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture.

Nigel Klein, professor of infectious diseases and immunology, said there were four possible causes for his injuries - metabolic disorder, a bleeding disorder, infection or a non-accidental head injury. Prof Klein said he looked for evidence of diseases and infections including pneumonia, meningitis or toxic shock syndrome, but ‘ruled all these out’ as the cause of the injuries.

He said: “My reading of the reports and in keeping with my knowledge and experience of either meningitis or encephalitis, my understanding is that there was no evidence of these things.”

“I can see no evidence of infection from the tests that were done and there were no other features that might make me think this was an infection.”

The infant’s father denies inflicting grievous bodily harm on him while his mother denies cruelty by not seeking medical attention.

The trial continues.

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