Did Your Baby Suffer Seizures Following Birth?
Babies can suffer seizures following birth. There can be a lot of factors which can contribute to a baby suffering a seizure. With that said, the lack of blood and oxygen can cause injury to the brain, which can produce seizures. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and a prolonged labor due to shoulder dystocia, are but some of the ways in which a baby can develop seizures because of fetal hypoxia.
A seizure is an electrical disturbance in the brain which can lead to shaking, jerking, and even a temporary loss of consciousness. However, sometimes, seizures in babies can be subtle. Therefore, it is important to know the different types of seizures that a baby can suffer from. Below are some of the different types of seizures a baby might experience:
Subtle Seizures: These types of seizures can sometimes be overlooked because they can be difficult to recognize. Eyelid blinking or fluttering, eyes rolling up, eye opening, and a fixed gaze can all be signs of subtle seizures. In addition, tongue protrusions can also be signs of subtle seizures. Subtle seizures are the most common type of seizure in babies.
Tonic Seizures: Tonic seizures can be categorized as increased muscle tone, or muscle stiffness. Tonic seizures can consist of the baby’s eyes rolling up into their head and breathing problems.
Clonic Seizures: Clonic seizures are defined by rhythmic jerking. These types of seizures usually affect the neck, face, and arms.
Myoclonic Seizures: Sudden, muscle contractions and jerks define myoclonic seizures. They differ from clonic seizures in that the clonic seizures are more rhythmic, whereas myoclonic seizures do not have a rhythm to the jerking or twitching movement.
What Are Some Of The Causes Of Baby Seizures?
In some cases, the cause of a baby’s seizures can be unknown. With that said, this is not always the case. For some babies, the cause of the seizures can be traced back to certain events, or experiences.
Seizures And Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
One way in which a baby can develop seizures is because of a lack of blood and oxygen. A reduced level of blood and oxygen can lead to a condition called fetal hypoxia, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Fetal hypoxia can cause injury to certain areas of the brain. When a brain injury like this occurs, there is a risk of seizures developing. Doctors and nurses can be alerted to a reduced level of blood and oxygen in the baby by monitoring the electronic fetal heart monitor during labor and delivery, among other things. Umbilical cord compression due conditions such as cord prolapse can lead to HIE, and subsequent seizures.
Seizures And Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic injury to the brain can also cause seizures in a baby. One way in which a baby can suffer a traumatic brain injury at birth is through the use of forceps and vacuum type of assisted deliveries. Doctors will sometimes use these instruments to help the mother through a vaginal delivery when mother is struggling to push the baby out through the birth canal. Forceps and vacuum devices are used during the second stage of labor.
Injury to the baby’s brain can occur when doctors use too much force to guide the baby through delivery. A traumatic injury to the brain can not only cause seizures, but it can also lead to cerebral palsy in the child.
Seizures And Shoulder Dystocia/Prolonged Labor
Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby gets trapped behind the pelvis. This creates an emergency in the delivery room because if doctors fail to free the child in enough time, not only can the baby suffer a brain injury, but death can ultimately be the result. Although brachial plexus injuries can be the result of shoulder dystocia, brain injuries, and subsequent seizures can also occur due to a shoulder dystocia medical condition.
One of the main ways in which a brain injury can occur during shoulder dystocia is because of umbilical cord compression. As the baby remains trapped behind the pelvis, depending on where the umbilical cord is located, it too can become trapped. When this occurs, a reduction in blood and oxygen can occur, thus leading to a brain injury, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Seizures can be the result of this type of brain injury.
How Are Seizures Diagnosed?
Doctors generally diagnose seizures using EEG testing. EEG testing looks at the electrical activity in the brain. The test uses metal electrodes, attached to the brain, to measure electrical impulses. An EEG can help doctors diagnose seizure activity in the brain.
Boston Law Group, LLC represents victims of birth injury and medical malpractice throughout Maryland. We can help victims in:
Prince George’s County
Anne Arundel County
St. Mary’s County
Is your baby having seizures after birth?
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