Why Would A Newborn Have Seizures

Refractoriness To Antiepileptic Drug Treatment

Why does the premature baby have seizures?

In our sample only one of 18 newborns who were refractory to anticonvulsants had a completely normal ultrasound scan and 5 newborns were diagnosed with a mild intraventricular hemorrhage or transient periventricular echodensities. Nine of the 18 refractory patients subsequently developed epilepsy. The coexistence in the majority of our patients of brain damage and drug-resistant seizures did not allow us to disentangle which was the cause of the increased incidence of epilepsy in this subgroup.

What Can Cause Baby Seizures

There are several different causes of baby seizures, including:

  • Structural causes: A baby could be born with structural differences or damage to the brain that could lead to seizures. Additionally, trauma or an injury during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or after birth that damages the brain could also cause seizures.
  • Metabolic causes: Low levels of certain key nutrients such as glucose, calcium, and magnesium could cause seizures. Drug withdrawal can also lead to seizures in babies.
  • Infectious causes: Brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis could cause seizures.
  • Genetic causes: Some conditions that cause seizures can result from genetic mutations. These include GLUT 1 deficiency, Dravet syndrome, and self-limiting familial infantile seizures.

What Causes Seizures In New

  • Structural causes Being born on time but having a lack of oxygen to the brain. This is called perinatal hypoxia and can cause an injury to the brain called hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy Or being born with some damage to their brain. This is called cerebral dysplasia or dysgenesis. Cerebral means relating to the brain. Dysplasia or dysgenesis means unusual development
  • Metabolic causes Having low levels of glucose, calcium or magnesium in the blood
  • Infectious causes Having an infection such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Genetic causes Inheriting a medical condition, such as self-limiting familial infantile seizures, or having a disorder such as
  • GLUT 1 deficiency, or a genetic disorder, such as Ohtahara syndrome.

Recommended Reading: Can I Open A Bank Account For My Newborn

What Causes Newborns To Have Seizures

what causes newborns to have seizures? Neonatal seizures have a variety of causes. These include: Lack of oxygen before or during birth due to placental abruption , a difficult or prolonged labor, or compression of the umbilical cord.

What is the most likely cause of seizures in a newborn? Long answer. In term babies, hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy is the most common cause of neonatal seizures, with onset typically within the first 24-48 hours of life. In preterm babies, intracranial haemorrhage is the most common cause.

What does newborn diarrhea look like formula fed? Healthy formula fed baby poop is typically a shade of yellow or brown with a pasty consistency that is peanut butter like. Formula-fed babies also pass fewer, but bigger and more odorous stools than breastfed babies.

How do I know if my baby has trapped wind? Bloating, stomach cramps, pains and burping or flatulence are common symptoms. If your baby has these, they may seem grizzly, cry or find it hard to settle. If your baby is posseting , is colicky or has reflux then burping your baby can help.

Also Check: How Long Do Newborns Sleep At Night

What Does A Seizure Look Like In A Baby

Seizures In Newborn Babies Causes

Since newborns and infants cannot speak to explain how they are feeling, its important for parents and physicians to closely monitor the baby so that they can spot any unusual symptoms that may indicate a seizure disorder.

Signs of a neonatal seizure depend on what type of seizure the infant is having. Infant seizure symptoms can include things like repetitive mouth movements or chewing motions, a turning of the head or eyes to one side, sudden fear or apparent anxiety or confusion, bodily spasms or jerking of limbs, loss of consciousness or a bicycling movement in the legs.

Numerous seizure symptoms also happen to be movements an infant might make as a natural part of the growing process. For instance, babies often bend and stretch their limbs, sometimes in very odd or awkward ways. This is why its important to know how to tell if a baby is acting normally or is having a seizure.

You May Like: How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep Through The Night

Diagnosing A Seizure In A Child

Diagnosing a seizure can be tricky. Seizures are over so quickly that your doctor probably will never see your child having one. The first thing a doctor needs to do is rule out other conditions, such as nonepileptic seizures. These may resemble seizures, but are often caused by other factors such as drops in blood sugar or pressure, changes in heart rhythm, or emotional stress.

Your description of the seizure is important to help your doctor with the diagnosis. You should also consider bringing the entire family into the doctors office. The siblings of children with epilepsy, even very young kids, may notice things about the seizures that parents may not. Also, you may want to keep a video camera handy so that you can tape your child during a seizure. This may sound like an insensitive suggestion, but a video can help the doctor enormously in making an accurate diagnosis.

Some kinds of seizures, such as absence seizures, are especially difficult to catch because they may be mistaken for daydreaming.

Nobody misses a grand mal seizure, says William R. Turk, MD, chief of the Neurology Division at the Nemours Childrens Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. You cant help but notice when a person falls to the ground, shakes, and sleeps for three hours. But absence or staring seizures may go unnoticed for years.

Seizures In Babies: What Do They Mean

Seizures in the neonatal period are not uncommon, particularly with premature infants. Neonatal period refers to the first 28 days of life for a baby. Seizures happen when there are abnormal electrical discharges in the newborns central nervous system. These discharges can be caused by a variety of different conditions. Some of these conditions may be relatively benign or temporary, but some seizures can be related to serious medical conditions and require urgent investigation and attention.

Also Check: Must Haves For Winter Newborn

Infant Seizures And Their Causes And Symptoms

The human brain is like the central command and control center for the entire body. All movements of the body are generated and controlled by electrical impulse signals transmitted from the brain. Infant or neonatal seizures are a relatively common but potentially serious medical event that occurs when the brain is suddenly flooded by abnormal electrical transmissions that momentarily disrupts the functioning of the brain.

Types of Infant Seizures

Infant seizures are classified into different subtypes based on the particular area of the brain that is involved, how severe the brain interruption is, and the physical response triggered by the seizure.

The types of seizures described below other than focal seizures are considered “generalized seizures.” These infant seizures involve both sides and more than one specific area within the brain. With these types of infant seizures, there is almost always a brief loss of consciousness.

What Causes Seizures in Babies?

When infants experience any of the various types of seizures we are talking about, the most likely potential causes are trauma during birth causing damage to the baby’s brain, congenital birth defects, or infection.

Treatment of Seizures in Babies

When A Fetus Stretches They Seem To Move Pretty Quickly

Understanding Seizures in the Newborn Infant

Your fetus is just going to keep getting bigger as they grow, so once your baby reaches a certain size, when they stretch it can start to feel like a ton of twitchy movements all at once.

This rapid spew of movement when your baby is stretching is because of all their sudden kicks, punches, and rolls that happen along with their stretching.

In my recent pregnancy, my baby boy would literally tickle me from the inside. When hed stretch out, all of his kicks, punches, and rolls felt so strong it tickled me as he got bigger.

Anytime he would stretch I wondered if he was okay or not. When your baby stretches out it can feel intensely sporadic with random twitchy movement occurring all at once, this kind of movement can resemble a seizure causing concern for you.

Donât Miss: How To Get My Newborn To Take A Pacifier

You May Like: What To Do For Jaundice Newborn At Home

How To Optimize Your Childs Prognosis

The best way that you can help your child and optimize their prognosis after a diagnosis of seizures or epilepsy is to follow their treatment plan closely. It is incredibly important to properly manage medications and other treatments. Some tips for optimizing your childs prognosis include:

  • Know the exact medication, dose, time, and side effects for any medications.
  • Before giving your child any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, talk to your doctor. Some seizure medications have drug interactions.
  • Help your child avoid any triggers for seizures, such as not sleeping or eating properly.
  • Make sure your child attends routine visits with their healthcare provider.

Be mindful that as your child grows, his or her situation may change. If he or she has epilepsy, there may be restrictions on certain activities, or you may need to use extra caution when doing sports, swimming, etc.

Start Your FREE Case Review Today

If you or your child is injured as a result of medical negligence, call us to learn more.

Will My Doctor Be Able To Know For Sure If My Child Is Having Seizures

If you suspect that your baby is having seizures, the pediatrician will typically refer you to a pediatric neurologist. Your babys pediatric neurologist may order and perform a number of tests to narrow down the type of seizures and their causes. The following tests can help diagnose infant seizures :

  • An EEG to look for abnormal activity in the brain.
  • An MRI of the head to look for structural abnormalities in the brain.
  • Chromosomal studies to look for genetic disorders.
  • A spinal tap to look for infection, chemical disorders, or metabolic disorders.
  • Blood or urine tests to look for metabolic issues or chemical disorders.

Read Also: When Do Newborns Get Their Shots

What To Do If A Baby Is Having A Febrile Seizure

The NINDS recommends the following steps if you suspect your child is having a febrile seizure due to a fever:

  • Remain calm: Observe the child for symptoms so you can give an accurate account to your doctor or medical team.
  • Note the time when the seizure starts: If it lasts more than 5 minutes, call 911.
  • Gently place the baby on the floor or ground: Though you want to hold a child during a convulsion, restraining them could lead to accidental injury.
  • Position the baby on its side: This position will help prevent possible choking.
  • Do not place anything in the babys mouth: Gently remove any objects that could obstruct the childs airway, such as pacifiers.
  • Contact your pediatrician: If the seizure subsides in less than 5 minutes, contact your childs doctor for evaluation. They can treat the underlying issue causing your childs fever and check for symptoms of a more serious condition, such as meningitis.

When in doubt about the severity of your childs symptoms, call 911 for emergency care.

If your baby is in any immediate danger and has trouble breathing, turning blue, or has any lasting changes that dont go away after the seizure ends, call 911.

If You Suspect Medical Malpractice May Have Caused Your Babys Seizures

Baby G has a seizure  @inacove

Unfortunately, it is often not clear right away what has caused seizures in a newborn. Obviously, your first focus must be on your childs health, and making sure he or she has any treatment needed to avoid ongoing problems.

If you suspect that your babys seizures may have been caused by medical malpractice, like an obstetrician who failed to detect fetal distress and allowed labor to go on too long, there are steps you should take along with pursuing a diagnosis and treatment. Consult with an experienced Oregon medical malpractice attorney to review your options. If medical malpractice was indeed to blame for your childs seizures, you may be entitled to compensation that will help you to pay for their treatment and, if necessary, their ongoing care.

At Huegli Fraser, we know that even caring for a newborn without health issues can be exhausting. The stress that comes along with worrying about your childs health and future makes it worse. Our attorneys are both skilled and compassionate, and will do everything possible to help you secure your childs future and reduce the stress that goes along with it. We invite you to contact our law office to schedule a consultation.

Recommended Reading: When Do Newborns Move To Size 1 Diapers

What Can Cause A Newborn To Seizure

When a newborn experiences seizures, this could indicate that a birth injury occurred. Seizures typically develop in infants who were deprived of oxygen near or during labor and might be one of the first noticeable signs of a brain injury in a newborn baby. Although more often than not, seizures are caused during or around the time of labor, there are several other causes, including infections.

Symptoms Of Subtle Seizures

Subtle seizures are more common among full-term babies. Symptoms of subtle seizures include:

  • Random or roving eye movements, eyelid blinking or fluttering, eyes rolling up, eye opening, staring
  • Sucking, smacking, chewing and protruding tongue
  • Unusual bicycling or pedalling movements of the legs
  • Thrashing or struggling movements
  • Long pauses in breathing

You May Like: What Lotion Can You Use On A Newborn

What Are The Symptoms Of Infant Seizures

Because an infants brain is still developing, a seizure may look different than it does in an adult. Symptoms of seizures in infants may include the following:

  • Jerking or stiffening of an arm or leg
  • The infants body may suddenly jerk forward
  • Facial expression, heart rate and breathing may change suddenly
  • The infants responsiveness may be impaired
  • Suddenly falling down or falling over
  • Rapid eye blinking or twitching

Recommended Reading: Are Air Purifiers Safe For Newborns

What Are The Different Types Of Seizures

If Your Baby has a Seizure – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance

Neonatal seizures can be challenging to diagnose because the convulsion may be brief and subtle. Further, some symptoms may mimic regular movements and behaviors of healthy babies. The following are the common categories and symptoms of newborn seizures:

  • Clonic Seizures. These typically result in jerking movements of the face, tongue, arms, legs, and other extremities.
  • Myoclonic Seizures. These seizures usually cause quick, single jerking motions, involving one arm, leg, or the whole body.
  • Subtle Seizures. Common among full-term babies, subtle seizures typically result in random or roving eye movements, staring, or eye fluttering sucking, smacking, or chewing pedaling-like movements of the legs thrashing or struggling movements or long breathing pauses .
  • Tonic Seizures. Tonic seizures are usually characterized by stiffening or tightening of the muscles turning the head or eyes to one side or bending or stretching one or more arms or legs.

You May Like: How To Keep My Newborn Sleep At Night

What Causes Seizures In Pre

Babies born prematurely are highly vulnerable to brain injury and susceptible to seizures in the first weeks of life.

The most common causes of seizures in pre-term babies are brain haemorrhages and infections, although the cause is not known for all babies. Babies with a low birth weight seem to be especially at risk of seizures.

I Have Seen Adults Have Seizures Before Is This What It Will Look Like If My Child Has A Seizure

Not necessarily. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, seizures in newborn babies can look very different from those that occur in older children and adults. Sometimes, parents think a healthy baby is having a seizure when they are, in fact, exhibiting something called the Moro reflex, which can occur if a baby is startled, or has jitters . These can look similar to shivering. On the other hand, when a baby is really having a seizure, it can be very difficult to recognize. Therefore, it is very important for parents to speak to a doctor about any concerns, even if they seem silly. It is your doctors job to answer your questions and run diagnostic tests if you have witnessed signs of a seizure.

Also Check: What Does A Newborn Baby Really Need

What Should I Do If My Child Has A Seizure

If your child has a seizure, you should stay calm and:

  • gently protect their body and head
  • if theyre in water, keep their face out of the water and call for an ambulance
  • time the seizure
  • dont put anything in their mouth
  • after any convulsion ends, roll them on their side
  • lay them on their side if there is fluid in their mouth
  • make sure they are breathing normally afterwards

You should call an ambulance if:

  • your childs seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, or they have more than one seizure
  • they are still unconscious or have trouble breathing after the seizure
  • quicky have another seizure, or they have multiple seizures
  • they had a seizure with food or liquid in their mouth
  • theyre unconscious or not breathing normally
  • its their first seizure

Also Check: How Many Wet Diapers Should A Newborn Have

Effects Of Seizures On Newborns

17 Best images about Nursing on Pinterest

Neonatal seizures can be subtle and difficult to recognize clinically, so timely EEG and laboratory testing are essential in confirming the diagnosis. Cranial imaging, such as CT or MRI are also often recommended. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, early treatment of the seizures, as well as the underlying cause, is required.

The prognosis for infants with seizures will depend on the cause and the timeliness of diagnosis and treatment. It is essential that early investigation and treatment is undertaken by the appropriate medical specialists.

Also Check: How To Apply For Medicaid For My Newborn

Related Posts

Popular Articles