Infant or Neonatal Seizures

Infant seizures are epileptic fits that occur from birth until the end of the neonatal period. This condition is also called neonatal convulsions. A baby is most vulnerable to develop seizures during the neonatal period, particularly from the first 2 to 7 days after birth. Neonatal seizures usually last only for short periods. However, they indicate a serious damage to the baby's immature brain and a neurological emergency that needs immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Types and Signs of Infant Seizures

Seizures in babies can come in different forms, and exhibit different signs:

· Infantile spasms

§ The baby tends to bend forward

§ Arms and legs stiffen, and make the baby arch her back

§ Occurs while waking up, going to sleep, or any other time of the day

· Febrile seizures

§ Rolling of eyes

§ Limbs stiffen and twitch or jerk

§ Occurs between six months and five years after birth

§ High fevers that rise above 102o

· Absence seizures

§ Staring or day dreaming into space

§ Rapid blinking

§ The baby appears to be chewing

§ Lasts approximately 30 seconds

· Focal seizures

§ Sweat, paleness and vomit

§ Spasms or rigidity in muscles or limbs and fingers

§ Lip smacking and gagging

§ Loss of consciousness

§ Screaming and crying

· Atonic Seizures

§ Sudden loss of muscle tone

§ Unresponsiveness

§ The baby's head drops suddenly

§ Falling while crawling or walking

· Tonic seizures

§ Stiffening of the body

· Myoclonic seizures

§ Muscle jerks in the baby's neck, shoulder or arms

§ Occurrence in clusters, several times a day

Neonatal seizures are different from seizures that occur in older children or adults. Subtle seizures occur most frequently in babies, as an oversight of its clinical manifestations are likely to happen. Deviation of eye balls horizontally which may or may not involve jerking, fluttering of the eye lids, sucking and smacking are some of the more obvious symptoms of infant seizures. Premature infants face a higher risk of experiencing seizures soon after birth. Babies may also suffer multifocal seizures, where the seizure originates from one part of the body and migrates to others.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Any abnormality or repetitive and stereotypic behaviors in neonates must be immediately identified and examined. The following tests can help diagnose infant seizures:

§ Polygraphic video or EEG recording of events

§ Thorough examination of prenatal history and family history of seizures

§ Biochemical tests to check for reversible metabolic disturbances

A baby is fragile, vulnerable, and low on immunity soon after birth. Undivided attention and care must be provided by the doctors to the baby, while examining and diagnosing, treating and healing. A failure to diagnose infant seizures due to lack of attention to its signs and symptoms or test results is a class of medical negligence. A parent whose baby has suffered due to such medical malpractice is entitled to claim compensation for their distress.

Contact our New York City Medical malpractice attorneys for the most suitable legal advice. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff (RMFW) have law offices located in Astoria, Queens, New York City and two locations in Brooklyn. Call 212-344-1000so you can be one step closer to regaining normalcy in your life.

RMFW know a winning case when they see one. They do not stop working until you are satisfied. RMFW is not paid until you are paid.


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