You are completely in awe watching your newborn move and twist. But you notice that the movements look odd or involuntary and that your baby’s legs are making a cycling motion. You might not realize it, and your doctor may not have diagnosed it, but your newborn could be having a seizure.
Seizures in infants can be the result of traumatic brain injuries suffered during birth. Untreated, they can cause further brain damage. If your child had a seizure resulting from a birth injury, contact the compassionate, knowledgeable Maryland attorneys for infant seizures resulting from birth injuries at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice for help determining if you have a medical malpractice claim. Call (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Neonatal Seizures in Infants in Maryland
Neonatal seizures are caused by abnormal, excessive electrical discharges in an infant’s brain causing involuntary movements, disorientation, or loss of or altered consciousness. Generally, seizures are symptoms of a more serious brain injury or other underlying conditions.
Infants experiencing seizures require immediate specialized care. Repeat seizures can cause additional brain damage if not diagnosed and treated properly. If your infant suffered from seizures and your doctor failed to diagnose the condition or provide the necessary treatment, your doctor may be liable for any further brain injury or other injuries your child sustains.
How Maryland Doctors Identify the Symptoms of Seizures in Infants
Your baby will not usually demonstrate the same symptoms as older children experiencing seizures. Because your baby’s brain is still in the early stages of development, it is unable to make the coordinated responses typically associated with a seizure, and your physician might have difficulty diagnosing the symptoms. Many of an infant’s natural movements, jerks, or stares resemble the outward signs of a seizure in an adult or older child, and so a doctor will have to look for other signs of seizures in an infant. If your doctor fails to identify or diagnose the symptoms of your infant’s seizure, it could lead to more severe brain damage.
While useful in diagnosing seizures in adults and older children, an electroencephalogram (EEG) is less effective with newborns. Only a particularly skilled pediatric neurologist should interpret your infant’s EEG reading. If your doctor suspected your child was suffering from a seizure and ordered an EEG but failed to consult with a qualified physician, relying on their own reading of those results might constitute medical malpractice.
Seizures and Medical Malpractice in Maryland Hospitals
In many instances, seizures are symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. While the physical pressure and risk of complications associated with childbirth could cause brain injuries in newborns, many brain injuries are actually the result of preventable, unjustified medical mistakes. Medical professionals and doctors make errors, but when those errors are the result of negligent or careless actions or decisions, they may have committed medical malpractice.
A potential complication during your pregnancy is preeclampsia. Unusually high blood pressure and symptoms of organ damage are common with this medical condition. If this condition goes undiagnosed, your developing baby may experience a reduction in oxygen flow that leads to brain damage. Your physician should properly monitor your vital signs throughout the length of your pregnancy. Complications from preeclampsia for you or your child could be evidence of negligent medical malpractice on the part of your physician.
Even though it serves as a highway of nutrients, blood, and oxygen to your child, the umbilical cord also poses several risks to a developing fetus. Your child’s natural movements in the womb could result in the umbilical cord wrapping itself around the neck. Called a nuchal cord, this condition can restrict the flow of oxygen during birth. Your physician should act appropriately when faced with this complication, possibly ordering an emergency C-section if there are signs of fetal distress. Negligently ignoring or mismanaging a nuchal cord could lead to serious brain injury and become medical malpractice. Additionally, a prolapse – when the umbilical cord drops through the cervix before your baby does – also dangerously compresses the cord and deprives your child of oxygen. If your doctor failed to prepare for this complication or negligently treated it, your baby’s injuries may be the direct cause of medical malpractice.
Difficult and prolonged deliveries sometimes require assistance. If you are unable to push your child through the birth canal, your doctor may use obstetric forceps – a medical instrument that grips your child’s head – to help guide your baby through. Applying excessive force or twisting your baby’s head could cause a traumatic brain injury and brain damage. An injury resulting from the improper or unnecessary use of forceps could mean your doctor acted negligently.
In addition to physical assistance, your physician may use medication to assist your labor. Pitocin is a hormone used to induce labor and strengthen contractions. If not administered or monitored correctly, the contractions can come too quickly, restricting the flow of blood and oxygen to your baby. Any restriction of oxygen could negatively affect your baby’s brain.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Infant Seizures Resulting from Birth Injuries for a Free Consultation
Any type of infant brain injury can adversely affect your child for their entire life. Ongoing seizures may require years of medication, therapy, or potential surgery. Undiagnosed seizures could further exacerbate an existing brain injury, so it is vital that your doctor diagnose your baby’s condition correctly and get them the care they need. If your child suffered a brain injury resulting in a seizure, or if a seizure went undiagnosed and untreated, contact our experienced Maryland attorneys for infant seizures resulting from birth injuries. Call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free case consultation.