HUGE IMPROVEMENTS: Since Shaya Haden, 10, has been receiving botulinum toxin treatments from Dr Chris Ingall, her ability to use her arms and her quality of life has greatly improved.
HUGE IMPROVEMENTS: Since Shaya Haden, 10, has been receiving botulinum toxin treatments from Dr Chris Ingall, her ability to use her arms and her quality of life has greatly improved.

Injections help improve lives of kids with cerebral palsy

A LISMORE paediatrician has welcomed the news that thousands of Australian children living with cerebral palsy now have access to Dysport on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Also referred to as Botulinum toxin A, this can present a temporary treatment option via injectable therapy to reduce muscle spasticity.

On Thursday December 3, the International Day of People with Disability, Dr Chris Ingall said it is good news that PBS listing extension to treat moderate to severe upper limb spasticity in children living with cerebral palsy, aged two years and over with Dysport (Clostridium botulinum type A toxin-­haemagglutinin complex).

Dr Ingall said cerebral palsy is Australia's most common physical childhood disability, with spasticity affecting up to 80 per cent.

"It will enable children have upper limb injections on the PBS and relax their muscles to have much better functions in the affected arms and better quality of life, so they are much less frustrated," he said.

"I currently have 100 families on the patient list where I inject the children in such a way they are put through minimal discomfort and very little memory of the procedures.

"At Lismore Base Hospital we run the only non-metro injection service in Australasia."

Nicole Haden's daughter Shaya, 10, needs injections in her upper arms so she can stretch and move them in comfort.

"Dr Ingall has been wonderful, Shaya's progress has been amazing," she said.

"Before this treatment her left fist was always clenched and her moving in towards her body and she cannot use it.

"Now she is able to open her hand up, stretch her arm up and the difference is second to none."

Ms Hagen said Shaya who in Grade 4 at Centuar Primary School at Banora Point, is non-verbal and signs when she thinks she needs another treatment.

"These injections have made such a difference," Ms Haden said.

"We started taking Shaya to Dr Ingall when the border closed and we will continue to see him."

Dr Ingall said around one in 700 Australian children and adolescents live with cerebral palsy and are faced with daily challenges resulting from incapacitating and uncontrollable muscle spasms and limited muscle movement.

"This treatment will help increase a child's ability to cope with daily activities such as dressing, feeding themselves or attending school," he said.