Fetal or Neonatal Strokes Causing CP
Neonatal strokes can cause massive damage to a baby’s developing brain, resulting in an elevated chance of permanent neurological damage, including the development of cerebral palsy.
A stroke occurs when there is some kind of blockage or trauma to blood vessels that impedes the flow of blood, thereby starving the brain of oxygen. A fetal stroke is one which occurs anywhere from the 14th week of gestation until shortly after delivery.
Strokes are categorized into two categories: ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the blood flow to the brain is diminished due to asphyxiation, strangulation, compression of the arteries, or a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, occur when a blood vessel in or near the brain ruptures (often due to physical trauma), causing bleeding in the brain.
Fetal Strokes and Medical Malpractice
Fetal strokes can be catastrophic, and often result in severe developmental disorders. Not only may your child suffer from a seizure disorder, but a stroke (especially if not treated immediately) can result in permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy, or even wrongful death.
Under the Hippocratic Oath (as well as several legal tenets), doctors and their teams are required to provide you and your child with a certain standard of medical care. In addition, they are required to do their due diligence and ensure that your baby is developing in the womb normally, and that any potential health risks have been addressed and/or mitigated to give your child the best change at a successful delivery.
If they fail in this regard and your child suffers serious harm as a result of their negligence, you may very well have a medical malpractice claim on your hands. Successfully bringing a medical malpractice claim is not a simple task, but there are cerebral palsy attorneys who focus on helping victims just like you, and the best part is that they take these kinds of cases on a no-win no-fee basis.
Risk Factors, Causes, and Complications
Preventing neonatal strokes before they occur is key, but in some cases, this may be unrealistic. Many fetal strokes occur spontaneously when there are no prior risk factors, often due to trauma caused during labor or delivery. There are, however, some things you can do to lower the risk of a fetal stroke, including limiting sodium intake to help lower your blood pressure, cutting out caffeine, as well as limiting the consumption of processed foods.
Causes and risk factors of a fetal stroke include:
- An infection during the gestational period
- Placental thrombosis
- A cardiac abnormality
- Severe maternal bleeding
- Very low or very high blood pressure
- The use of illegal drugs during pregnancy
- Hypoxia or oxygen deprivation during birth
- Placental abruption
- Undiagnosed blood disorders
- The presence of an autoimmune disorder
Complications often associated with a fetal stroke can include (but are not limited to) seizures, developmental delays, mental impairment, vision loss, psychological issues, cerebral palsy, muscle weakness, paralysis, and an increased risk of future strokes.