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Seizures are the body's response to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Some babies may have them in the weeks after birth. A newborn may have a seizure for a few reasons. A lack of oxygen in the baby's brain is a common reason. So is an infection.
Events that are not seizures are common. But some signs of a seizure can look like normal movements in a newborn. If a movement is repeated or goes on for several minutes, it may be a sign of a seizure.
Your doctor may use a test to make sure your baby is having seizures. This test may be an electroencephalography (EEG). Or the test may be an amplitude integrated EEG (aEEG).
Signs of a seizure in a newborn last for 15 seconds or longer and include:
If you think your baby may be having a seizure, call your doctor or nurse advice line right away. Call 911 or other emergency services if your baby also has a fever, movements that last for 10 minutes or more, or a change in their colour or breathing.
Adaptation Date: 10/6/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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