Sometimes injuries can occur at the time of delivery that can cause an infant to suffer a seizure. If this is the case, it is possible that a newborn suffered an injury to the brain that caused the seizure. Seizures in infants are called neonatal seizures that can include any of the following:
- Repetitive facial movements
- Unusual bicycle-type movements
- Gazing and staring
- Jerking movements of a specific part of the body
- Rapid twitching
- Rolling of eyes upward
- Periods of stopped breathing
For parents, seizures following birth are actually one of the first apparent signs that indicate something isn’t right with their baby. Generally, seizures occur when a baby suffers a lack of oxygen, which can occur during labor or within the first day of life.
Some of the common ways that a birth brain injury occurs that can lead to seizures includes:
- Poor maternal care. When a mother’s infection isn’t treated during pregnancy, a baby may be at risk of suffering infections such as Group B Strep, herpes, meningitis, and other infections that can cause seizures. Additionally, if a doctor fails to monitor a woman for preeclampsia (high blood pressures), a fetus can suffer a poor amount of oxygen-rich blood that can lead to brain damage.
- Umbilical cord injuries. When a baby’s umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, or if the umbilical cord is compressed in the birth canal, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the baby is decreased. When a baby doesn’t receive adequate oxygen, he or she may suffer a brain injury that can cause seizures.
- Poor use of birth-assisting tools. When an obstetrician uses forceps or a vacuum extractor incorrectly, it is possible to cause brains bleeds which can lead to brain damage and seizures.
- Delayed emergency C-section. If an obstetrician fails to deliver a baby in distress and leaves the baby in the birth canal too long without adequate oxygen, the baby may suffer brain damage that can cause seizures.
- Untreated jaundice. When a baby’s body isn’t able to get rid of bilirubin (a byproduct of red blood cell breakdown), a baby may encounter a buildup of bilirubin in the blood that can cause jaundice. If jaundice isn’t treated properly, a baby can suffer seizures and a brain injury.
Not only can a seizure indicate that a brain injury occurred, but a seizure itself can also cause brain damage. When a baby has a seizure following childbirth, it usually indicates that oxygen deprivation (also known as birth asphyxia) has occurred as a result of medical negligence.
If your baby suffered a seizure after birth, you should speak with an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice law. Contact Us for a free consultation today to get started holding the responsible party accountable for the injuries your child suffered.