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What Is a Neonatal Seizure?

Learn about neonatal seizures from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.


- Patty McGoldrick:So, neonatal seizures are seizures that occur in brand new babies in the neonatal period, within the first few days or weeks of life. They can be difficult to control. They can be caused by different syndromes, so some devastating epilepsies appear in infancy, but some of them are quite benign and the child outgrows them and they never occur again.

- Steve Wolf:So, this is a very frightening time because you've just had a baby and the babies are having seizures. It's important to talk with the neonatologist and the pediatricians about what's going on and if they've looked at all the possibilities of why the seizures are happening, and hopefully, to get the seizures under control with medications.

- Patty:It's very important, even when parents are still in the newborn nursery, and the baby is still there and the mother is still in the hospital, if the parents see something that they think is odd, like an odd movement or an odd shaking, in babies it can be things as simple as lip smacking or bicycling movements or just jerking of one arm or one leg. So, it's important to tell somebody about that. Tell the nurses or the doctors and have it looked at immediately. But, neonatal seizures are not necessarily that they are not going to be controlled for the rest of their lives.

- Steve:So, neonatal seizures are a very important time to detect seizures. Get good attention, get a full workup, look at what the possible medications are. But, again, detection is number one in this age group.

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