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Neonatal stroke, its signs and its treatments

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2019 | Birth Injuries

Expectant mothers in Washington should know that newborns are just as likely to suffer a stroke as the elderly. Specifically, about 1 in 4,000 babies experience it. Stroke is caused by oxygen deprivation due to an obstruction in a blood vessel, and neonatal stroke occurs in the first 28 days after birth. Perinatal strokes occur within seven days of birth.

The mother’s health can affect the risk of neonatal stroke. For example, that risk goes up if the mother has a disorder in her immune system, clotting problems, congenital heart disease or diabetes. Placental abruption and placental infection also make a stroke more likely. The cause of neonatal stroke is not always obvious, though. Children of uncomplicated pregnancies and normal deliveries can still develop it.

The most common sign of neonatal stroke is seizure, though it will likely require a medical expert to tell when it occurs. A blank look, a pedaling of the legs and single jerks in the limbs are just a few tell-tale signs.

Experimental treatments for neonatal stroke exist. One is to induce hypothermia, which can keep the infant’s body and brain from overheating and, by constricting the blood vessels, keep it from overreacting to the blockage. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is another treatment, which involves putting the child in an environment of 100% oxygen. Non-experimental anticoagulant treatments exist as well.

Some birth injuries and conditions can be the result of negligence on the doctor’s part, in which case the parents may be able to sue for compensation under birth injury law. Any malpractice suit is bound to involve a large amount of money, so the other side will probably do all it can to prevent payment. This is why hiring an attorney is essential. The attorney could hire third parties to conduct an investigation before heading to the negotiation table.