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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1987 May;94(5):431-9.

Antecedents and outcome of very early neonatal seizures in infants born at or after term.


Recent experimentally derived evidence has confirmed earlier suggestions that seizures which occur within 48 h of birth in babies born at or later than 37 completed weeks gestation are particularly likely to reflect intrapartum asphyxia. We have compared 54 cases of such seizures with 41,090 controls in a geographically defined population. Nulliparity, hydramnios, post-term pregnancy, oxytocin augmentation of labour, abnormalities of fetal heart rate and/or meconium-stained amniotic fluid, prolonged second stage of labour, emergency caesarean section, assisted vaginal delivery, low Apgar score and resuscitation at delivery and subsequent ventilatory support were all statistically significantly more common among cases than among controls. Five of the 54 babies who developed seizures died within 28 days of birth and 11 of the 49 survivors had an impairment diagnosed by 3 years of age which was usually associated with some degree of cerebral palsy. Comparison of the frequency of antecedent perinatal risk factors in the seizure babies who died, those who survived with disabilities and normal survivors failed to reveal any clear pattern.

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