|What Causes Seizures in Newborns||Long-Term Effects of Neonatal Seizures|
|Neonatal Seizures Caused by Medical Malpractice|
Is your baby experiencing seizures or experienced seizures after birth? Is your infant in a neonatal intensive care unit? Do you suspect that the seizures are caused by a birth injury that occurred during delivery? Unfortunately, neither the doctor nor hospital is likely to admit a mistake and be honest with you if a preventable medical error harmed your newborn. You will need to have an experienced newborn seizures lawyer evaluate your medical records and conduct an independent investigation to find out what really happened.
A serious birth injury can require years of ongoing medical treatments. You will need to avail yourself of all the financial resources available to help your child develop and reach his or her full potential. It’s important to understand how a birth injury lawsuit may help. The lawyers at The Colleran Firm aggressively pursue compensation on behalf of victims of birth injuries.
Neonatal seizures are seizures that occur during the first 28 days of a newborn’s life. They may signal that a newborn experienced a birth injury such as a lack of oxygen during delivery. But there are other causes of seizures after birth in infants as well. Seizures occur in
1.4 percent of full-term infants and approximately 20 percent of infants born prematurely, according to the Merck Manual.
Approximately 80 percent of seizures after birth occur in the first week of life. They may last from a few seconds up to one to two minutes in duration. Seizures may indicate damage to a newborn’s developing brain and require immediate evaluation. Doctors typically perform a thorough physical examination and do an EEG test, which records a newborn’s brain waves and the location of abnormal electrical activity during a seizure.
Seizures occur when nerve cells in the brain fire faster than usual as the result of nerve damage or problems with the brain’s chemistry. They may cause involuntary movements and affect normal brain function. In newborns, many seizures are subtle, with symptoms such as blinking, horizontal movement of the eyes, lip smacking, sucking or swimming movements. Subtle seizures may be difficult to distinguish from normal behavior of a newborn. But they may still have significant long-term consequences.
The most common reason for neonatal seizures is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. HIE may be mild, moderate or severe depending on the amount of time the child’s brain is deprived of oxygen during the delivery. It is a leading cause of severe impairments in newborns such as motor disorders and speech delays. It is a common cause of seizures.
Some infants experience seizures due to birth trauma and errors by doctors or nurses during delivery or by negligence on the part of an ob-gyn during prenatal care.
The parents of a newborn may have difficulty knowing the cause of their baby’s seizures without enlisting the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Not every birth injury constitutes medical malpractice. Our attorneys will work with medical experts to evaluate your medical records and determine whether the doctor and delivery team failed to follow the recognized standard of care during your pregnancy and delivery.
If a doctor did not order proper tests during your pregnancy or if a member of the delivery team failed to monitor the condition of the mother and baby during labor and to respond promptly to signs of fetal distress, the health care provider may have acted negligently in providing care.
Determining whether a physician violated the recognized standard of care is not something that parents of an infant experiencing neonatal seizures can do without help. Our birth injury attorneys will examine the medical records to determine whether labor and delivery negligence occurred during the birth of your baby. If we believe that you and your baby have been harmed by a health care provider’s negligence, we will offer to handle your case on a contingency fee basis.
Some babies develop more slowly than others. But neonatal seizures may be an indicator that the newborn has a serious brain injury that will cause long term development delays, physical impairments and cognitive delays as the child grows and develops. Your doctor can determine if your baby’s delays were caused by a brain injury.
Seizures may be an indication that the infant has cerebral palsy, a motor control disability caused by a brain disorder or brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy can occur before or during birth, or in infancy while the child’s brain in developing. Numerous factors can cause cerebral palsy including genetic birth defects that affect a fetus’s brain development, infects during infancy, a mother’s health condition, and damage to the baby’s brain caused by lack of oxygen during a difficult birth.