There are many reasons why a newborn baby would have seizures, including developmental disorders or birth defects. If there were complications during your pregnancy, and now your newborn is experiencing episodes of seizures, the root cause may stem from those complications.
Common pregnancy or birthing complications that can result in your baby having seizures can include:
- Premature delivery
- Baby brain bleeding
- Prolonged delivery
- Compression of the umbilical cord
Premature babies are at an elevated risk for neonatal seizures. According to the Merck Manual, 20% of premature babies can experience seizures compared to only 1.4% of term babies. This may attribute to the brain not fully being developed yet.
In some cases, the underlying conditions that cause a newborn to have seizures, such as cerebral palsy, may be caused by medical malpractice.
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Signs Your Newborn May Be Experiencing a Seizure
There are various types of seizures with a wide range of signs and symptoms. Some symptoms are mild and subtle, while others are serious and pronounced.
The signs of a seizure may include:
- Staring, rapid eyelid movement, eyes rolling up
- Protruding tongue
- Unusual bicycling movements of legs
- Rhythmic jerking of parts or the whole body
- Muscle stiffness
- Bending or extending arms or legs
- Loss of balance
- And more
The signs of a seizure in a baby may be subtle. If you think that your child could have experienced a seizure, have them evaluated by a doctor. Failure to recognize and address seizures in infants could mean that any potential underlying conditions are not being treated.
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What You Can Do if Your Baby Is Having a Seizure
If you believe your newborn is having a seizure, remain calm. Although many babies tend to not have intense episodes of seizures, make sure they are in a position where they will not be injured. This includes avoiding falls to choking on their own spit if they are drooling. If the seizure appears severe or if you are concerned for your child’s safety, call 911.
During the seizure, keep an eye on your child. It is a good idea to take note of how your child is reacting to a seizure. This can include physical signs, such as muscle stiffness, eye fluttering, and body jerking. Time how long they are lasting and how often they occur if you can.
Then, call your doctor to schedule an appointment to check your infant and discuss your concerns. Your child’s pediatrician may perform a physical exam and request diagnostic testing. The types of tests your doctor may schedule for your child can include:
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
- Blood work
- Spinal tap
If your doctor is able to discover an issue through diagnostic testing, a diagnosis may be made. From here, you and your doctor can discuss treatment or management plans that may be able to fix, reduce, or control your infant’s seizures.
Underlying Injuries and Medical Malpractice
If your doctor diagnoses your child with a medical condition that is causing their seizures, you may want to review your treatment history to establish the cause of their condition. This is because some conditions, such as a cerebral palsy or anoxia, can be the result of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor takes negligent actions, and the care their patients receive falls below a reasonable medical standard. In other words, had another doctor been in the same situation, the actions would have been different, and the negative outcome would have been avoided.
Doctor negligence can cause birth injuries during prenatal care, delivery, or post-delivery care by:
- Failing to identify a difficult delivery and plan a suffer alternative, such a C-section
- Not identifying and treating an infection in the pregnant mother
- Cutting off the child’s oxygen supply during the delivery
- Injuring the child’s brain by using excessive force during delivery
- Improper use of birth assistance tools such as forceps or a vacuum extraction device
Negligent actions such as these could make the doctor or healthcare facility that caused your child’s injuries liable to your family in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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When a Birth Injury Is Why a Newborn Baby Has Seizures
If you believe your child is suffering from seizures because of an injury or complication that happened due to medical malpractice, you may be able to seek restitution. This may include the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps families nationwide in medical malpractice insurance claims and lawsuits. For a free case review, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529. We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payments required.