After a difficult birth, you may be watching for signs and symptoms from your baby. One such condition involves a rapid shivering motion for the baby in the head and neck areas. This condition is infant shudder syndrome. Sometimes, the baby’s shoulders and upper chest will be involved too.
This condition could occur a few times a day in the baby. However, some reported cases have shown babies suffering these shivering attacks 100 or more times per day, according to the American Academy of Neurology.
Generally, the shivering only lasts a few seconds per attack, but the situation can be extremely unnerving for parents and others who witness it.
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What a Shuddering Spell Means
Although many doctors report treating babies whose parents report shuddering symptoms, determining an exact reason why these attacks occur is difficult. Some doctors report that the shivering is not a sign of a more serious condition and that it is just something that babies occasionally do.
However, if a few other conditions are known to be present, it could be a sign of some sort of brain disorder or illness. Parents who notice these shuddering spells in their infants should record a video of the incident to show their doctor. If your baby is diagnosed with a serious issue that you believe was caused by a medical mistake, you may also need to share this video with a birth injury law firm.
Another reason your baby may appear to “shudder” or “shiver” could be spasticity due to cerebral palsy that was caused by an injury during or shortly after birth. When this happens, an infant may be deprived of oxygen. You should have your baby evaluated and reach out to a cerebral palsy attorney if you believe your child’s symptoms could be related to CP.
Because the shivering symptoms may only last a few seconds and may only occur a few times a day, a doctor may not be able to witness it in person during a medical appointment, meaning the video is extremely helpful.
Shuddering With Minimal Health Problems
It is possible that a pediatric doctor will ask for a neurology referral when a shuddering spell is observed. This exam may determine that no significant health problems are occurring, and no treatment is required.
In the majority of cases like this, the baby will simply stop having these shuddering symptoms after a few months or a few years.
Shuddering With Seizures
If the shuddering spells seem more like seizures, this can be a far different situation requiring medical care. A seizure can be a signal that some sort of trauma or illness has occurred that is affecting the baby’s brain. Seizures may look a lot like shuddering spells, only lasting a few seconds and only causing slight tremors in the upper body.
Other times, the seizure could last for a minute or more, indicating something beyond shuddering syndrome. A seizure may manifest as a child staring straight ahead for a time, showing no emotion. Occasionally, the seizure may cause a violent shaking of the body, rather than a shivering motion.
Typically, during shuddering the child does not lose his or her ability to interact with others and does not have a feeling of sleepiness or grogginess after the spell. With a seizure, the child may be unresponsive during the attack, and he or she will seem excessively tired after suffering a seizure.
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Causes of Seizures
If you believe your baby is having seizures that are manifesting themselves in shuddering or shivering, you will want to contact your doctor as soon as possible. Many types of conditions can cause a baby to have seizures, including:
- Excessive fever
- Head injury
- Brain injury
- Neurodevelopmental issues
If your baby went through a difficult birth, it is possible that he or she suffered some sort of head or brain injury during delivery. Medical personnel could have dropped the baby after birth, causing injury. A doctor may have improperly used birthing tools, such as forceps, causing a head injury that eventually lead to seizures.
Epilepsy can be difficult to diagnose in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 1.2% of Americans have active epilepsy, including about 470,000 children. If a baby suffers a traumatic brain injury in the womb or during the delivery process, this injury could lead to the diagnosis of epilepsy in the future, as the two conditions are strongly linked.
Let Us Work To Represent the Interests of Your Family
If you believe a doctor’s error during delivery led to the potential for a birth injury for your baby, you will be watching for health issues your baby may exhibit in the first few months of life. One such issue may have you wondering what infant shudder syndrome is.
Although many babies will outgrow this condition after several months or a few years, it also could be a sign of something more serious with your newborn. Determining the exact cause of the baby’s shivering bouts could take multiple appointments with doctors, as well as neurological tests and treatments.
If a doctor did not treat your baby properly during pregnancy or delivery, you may want to consider hiring the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to represent your interests. During a free consultation, we can help you determine whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice case. Call us at (800) 222-9529 today.