Infant Seizures

Infant seizures may indicate that there are other health problems. An infant seizure occurs as a result of brain cells “over-firing” or being excessively active. This disturbs the brain’s normal levels of electric signals. Infant seizures may cause permanent brain damage. For treatment, a pediatric neurologist will attempt to identify the root cause of infant seizures.

Causes of Infant Seizures

Conditions that may prompt infant seizures include:

Types of Infant Seizures

The range and type of seizures in young children are drastically different, involving forms such as:

Diagnosing Infant Seizures

A large portion of diagnosing infant seizures involves identification of the cause and type. The pediatric neurologist will order an MRI scan to evaluate an image of the child’s brain. Structural abnormalities will be analyzed, possibly in conjunction with a designated epilepsy protocol. An EEG may also be used to assess any unusual electrical brain activity causing infant seizures. A lumbar puncture may define a serious infection, chemical disorder, or metabolic disorder contributing to infant seizures. In some cases, such as head injury, the doctor may not be able to pinpoint the cause at all.

Critical information, such as the following, is essential for diagnosis and treatment of infant seizures:

Treating Infant Seizures

Treatment of infant seizures is a direct result of establishing a cause for the seizure. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medicine to cure an illness causing the infant seizure. An anti-seizure medication is often prescribed to minimize the frequency and duration of seizures. A Ketogenic diet may be suggested for children that do not react well with medication. Surgery to remove portions of the brain is left as a last-resort approach for patients experiencing very severe seizures. If a medical care provider fails to identify the correct cause of infant seizures, the treatment will not work and medical malpractice may result.

 

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Rennie, J M. “Neonatal Seizures.” European Journal Of Pediatrics 156.2 (1997): 83-87. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 10 July 2012.
“Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Varies Across Specialties.” Contemporary Pediatrics 27.6 (2010): 8. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 10 July 2012.