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Babies with brain injuries may later develop epilepsy

Injuries during birth can lead to significant medical difficulties later in life for many children in Texas. When newborn babies have acute symptomatic seizures, they could develop epilepsy later on. There are a number of reasons why newborns might have seizures, but brain injury during birth is one prominent contributor. However, it is not always clear which factors may be more likely to lead to epilepsy.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of newborns who had been admitted to the hospital between 2008 and 2014 with acute seizures. They sought to identify which babies were more likely to develop epilepsy by examining demographic data, seizure causes, medication use and the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. At one university hospital in San Francisco, the scientists found 144 relevant patients, 87 of whom had follow-up data available one year later. Out of those 87 babies, eight children were later diagnosed with epilepsy. The median onset age was 4.9 years. There was no clear connection between epilepsy and premature birth or the use of antiseizure medicines at hospital discharge once the results were adjusted.

However, babies who had been injured at birth and suffered a brain injury were determined to have a greater likelihood of receiving an epilepsy diagnosis later in their childhood. The researchers also noted the importance of taking action to manage symptoms and provide early treatment to reduce the risk of serious disorders.

Babies who are hurt during childbirth due to negligent medical care can suffer lifelong effects as a result. Childbirth trauma can lead to brain injuries, cerebral palsy or other disorders, many of which require significant financial resources to treat. Parents whose children suffered birth injuries as a result of negligent health care providers can take legal action and seek compensation for damages.

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