Seizures, Epilepsy and Alabama Birth Injuries
Many children and adults across Alabama suffer from "seizure disorder," better known as epilepsy. They experience abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can result in different symptoms that can sometimes be frightening. In many cases, this abnormal electrical activity was the direct result of injuries suffered at birth.
Brain damage is often the cause of epilepsy, and can happen at any age. But the developing brain of a baby is particularly susceptible to injury. Medical negligence can easily cause brain damage, and a child can develop epilepsy as a result.
We commonly think of seizures as episodes in which a person convulses. But there are actually many different types of seizures. Children with epilepsy may experience:
- Absence seizures (petit mal): A child loses consciousness but does not experience convulsions.
- Atonic seizures (drop attacks): A child loses consciousness suddenly and falls down, but does not experience convulsions.
- Clonic seizures: A child loses consciousness, loses control of bodily functions and experiences jerking movements.
- Myoclonic seizures: A child has involuntary movements in different parts of the body, but does not experience loss of consciousness or confusion.
- Tonic seizures: A child loses consciousness and experiences muscle spasms, as well as flexion or extension of limbs. They may also experience confusion.
- Tonic-Clonic seizures (grand mal): A child falls down and experiences twitching and jerking of the body. There may be a loss of bladder or bowel control. A child may also experience confusion, disorientation and fatigue. This is the most severe type of seizure.
Because brain damage is permanent, there is no cure for epilepsy. But it can be controlled with proper treatment. This treatment includes the use of anti-seizure medications, also known as anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Other medications and treatments may also be prescribed to help keep seizures under control. You child may need treatment for the rest of his or her life.
Holding negligent parties accountable
Your child may have suffered brain damage as a result of a birth injury caused by medical negligence. Epilepsy may have resulted from oxygen deprivation during labor or delivery, untreated jaundice, low blood sugar, meningitis or traumatic injuries during delivery or just after birth.
All of these conditions are well-known, and doctors are - or should be - aware of the risk to babies during pregnancy, labor and birth. All medical professionals have a responsibility to follow standards of care for monitoring the baby's health and taking quick action if there is a problem. This can help prevent epilepsy or at least reduce its severity.
A medical professional is negligent if standards of care were not met and your child developed epilepsy as a result. But holding negligent medical professionals and hospitals accountable can be difficult. They typically deny any responsibility. And they have attorneys who are looking out for their best interests.
That's why you need a birth injury attorney in Alabama who will fight for your child's interests. Treatment for epilepsy can be very expensive over a lifetime. But if negligence caused your child's condition, you shouldn't have to pay. A birth injury lawyer can build a strong case and help you recover financial compensation.
If your child has epilepsy that may have been caused by a birth injury, learn more about your rights and your legal options. Schedule a free consultation today with an Alabama birth injury attorney in the Help For Your Baby network.