Neonatal Seizure Injuries
Cleveland birth injury lawyer explains available legal options
Some of the most upsetting and confusing medical conditions newborn children experience are seizures. Many times, seizures during the first month of life are a warning sign of a serious neonatal injury. Whatever the circumstances, it’s critical that parents find out right away why their baby is having neonatal seizures.
What people might not realize is neonatal seizures often occur due to mistakes made by doctors and other medical professionals responsible for treating newborns. When this happens, it’s important for parents to understand their rights and the legal options available to them. That’s why we want to help.
Cleveland birth injury lawyer John A. Lancione has more than three decades of experience handling such complex legal cases. As a result, he thoroughly understands how the legal system works when it comes to infant seizures and other neonatal injury cases.
Together with his talented legal team at The Lancione Law Firm, we can make sure your child’s injury receives the attention it rightfully deserves. We will work tirelessly to hold medical professionals accountable for their actions. You can count on us when it matters most.
What is a neonatal seizure?
A seizure is an electrical disturbance in the brain. Most seizures are sudden and happen without warning. They often last 30 seconds to 2 minutes. If a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, seek immediate medical attention.
Neonatal seizures are different than seizures experienced by adults. For example, it’s rare for newborn children to have a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also known as a grand mal seizure. That’s because a newborn baby’s brain is still developing.
Infant seizures often occur within the first few days of a baby’s life. Such neonatal seizures are often fragmented. They can also be difficult to identify. This is why medical professionals who work with newborn children receive specialized medical training in order to properly diagnose and treat such serious medical conditions.
What causes neonatal seizures?
Many neonatal seizures occur due to an injury or illness sustained by a newborn baby. In particular, many newborn infants have seizures due to Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain injury that often occurs soon after birth due to oxygen deprivation and decreased blood flow to the brain.
Other common causes of neonatal seizures include:
- An infection acquired by the baby shortly before, during or soon after birth. Common neonatal infections often include meningitis or encephalitis.
- Intracranial infection, also sometimes referred to as a neonatal brain infection, since such infections occur inside an infant’s skull.
- Bleeding in the brain, also known as a brain hemorrhage.
- Brain tumor
Many of these medical conditions can have serious, life-threatening consequences. That’s why it’s critical that healthcare professionals take infant seizures seriously right from the start. Otherwise, your child’s health or well-being could be in danger.
What are common symptoms and warning signs?
Neonatal seizures can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. The warning signs of a seizure in a newborn are often less obvious than the equivalent warning signs in an older child or adult with epilepsy. Common symptoms of a neonatal seizure may include:
- Uncontrolled jerking motions.
- Muscles suddenly becoming stiff in the arm or leg.
- Both legs jerking up towards the belly.
- Upper body jerking forward.
- Sudden, unexplained grimacing in the face.
- Rapid change in breathing or heart rate.
You know your child best. If something doesn’t seem right, seek immediate medical attention. If your child is still in the hospital, immediately tell a doctor, nurse or another healthcare professional what’s happening. The sooner your child can receive medical care, the better.
How does malpractice play a role?
Medical professionals who care for newborn children need to act fast if a baby is having a seizure – and take proactive steps to avoid the brain damage that leads to seizures in the first place. Unfortunately, some don’t properly diagnose neonatal seizures or take warning signs seriously. When that happens, medical negligence or malpractice may have occurred. Specific examples include:
- Failure to follow standard medical procedures.
- Failure to perform standard medical tests often associated with neonatal seizures.
- Failure to diagnose an infant seizure.
- Misdiagnosis of a neonatal seizure.
- Delay in diagnosis.
- Delay in treatment.
- Prescribing the wrong medications.
Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals undergo years of training in order to properly diagnose and treat serious medical conditions often associated with infant seizures. When they make mistakes and your child suffers, we can help you hold them accountable for their actions.
Your child has rights. Our Ohio law firm can fight for them
The stakes are high when it comes to many legal cases involving neonatal seizures. Many doctors and hospitals realize they made a mistake. But rather than admit wrongdoing, they hire attorneys to defend their actions and deny your legal claim.
Our job is to make sure your child’s injury or illness receives the attention it rightfully deserves. Attorney Lancione works tirelessly on such legal cases. He takes the time to find out exactly what happened and digs deeper in search of evidence in support of your case.
Many times, insurance companies agree to negotiate in good faith once they see that we’re serious about your case. But if they refuse to make a fair settlement offer, we will not hesitate to file a birth injury lawsuit on your behalf and fight for your rights in court.
Discover what a dedicated legal team can do for you. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with Cleveland birth injury attorney John A. Lancione. You can reach us online or call (440) 331-6100 or (877) 515-4369 to schedule an appointment.