You may think that you would be able to recognize when your child is having a seizure. Unfortunately, many parents are unaware that the onset of seizures can be extremely subtle, especially if the child has suffered perinatal asphyxia.
Perinatal asphyxia—also called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy—results in a lack of oxygen to the brain, slowing down mental processes. This decrease in brain energy then leads to excessive nerve impulses in the brain, causing seizures, coma, or even irreparable brain damage.
Seizures caused by perinatal asphyxia can be particularly difficult to detect, as they may last only seconds and mimic an infant’s natural movements. Here are a few signs and symptoms of a seizure that may easily be overlooked:
- Apnea – Interruption in a child’s breathing
- Repetitive facial movements – Such as chewing, blinking, or sucking
- Pedaling or kicking the legs
- Excessive staring
- Stiffening or tightening of a single muscle group – Such as one leg or one side of the neck
- Fixed, dilated, or non-reactive pupils
- Irregular blood pressure or heart rate
- A single jerking movement of the arm, leg, or body
- Repetitive jerking movements in the face, arms, legs or other limbs
- Stupor – The infant is awake but does not respond to voices or touch
- Irregular reflexes
The most common treatment for perinatal asphyxia seizures is controlled cooling therapy, which has been shown to slow the progress of neurological damage. However, this is only effective up to 6 hours after the baby is delivered. If your child has developed neurological symptoms in the days following his birth, you should consult an attorney immediately to discover if your obstetrician could be liable for your baby’s future costs of care.
Has Your Family Been Impacted By A Birth Injury?
If your family has been impacted by a birth injury you need to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.