My name is Andrea Shea and I’m a registered nurse. I’m the on-site nurse here at Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys. I currently review medical records. When I receive medical records, it takes me weeks, sometimes months, to go through, review, and look for potential mistakes that may have occurred during the labor and/or delivery period.
As an obstetrical nurse I was trained to evaluate the well-being of a baby before and immediately after birth. One of the things I was taught to evaluate for was potential seizure activity in the newborn period. Seizures are abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Unfortunately, newborn seizures can often be mistaken for normal newborn activity and go unrecognized and undiagnosed. A newborn seizure that occurs in that immediate period after birth or within the first four weeks of life can be the result of a preventable birth injury.
Signs and symptoms of newborn seizures include lip smacking, eye rolling, twitching of eyelids, as well as twitching of arms legs, fingers and toes. When newborns have a seizure, they typically also experience changes in their heart rate and their breathing at the same time. Seizures in the newborn period are associated with a decrease in heart rate and breathing. If a baby already suffers a preventable birth injury and then experiences seizures, it can actually make that injury worse. If they’re not breathing properly or their hearts are not beating fast enough, it can impact the profusion of blood to their brain and oxygenation.
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