While strokes typically affect the elderly and ill, babies are not immune to strokes. If your baby suffered a stroke during birth, you probably have many questions on your mind. Here are a few possible explanations as to why your baby suffered a pediatric stroke.
Anoxia and Hypoxia
Hypoxia and anoxia are two possible causes of your baby's stroke. Hypoxia refers to low oxygen levels in the brain. Anoxia occurs when the brain lacks oxygen. If the umbilical cord becomes kinked or pinched during delivery, the baby’s brain may stop receiving oxygen. Another hazard that may cause anoxia or hypoxia is when the umbilical cord is delivered from the cervix before the baby is delivered.
The ischemic stroke refers to strokes caused by clots in one of the brain's blood vessels. This clot is referred to as the thrombus. These clots can occur in the veins (sinovenous thrombosis) or arteries (arterial ischemic stroke) of the brain. The clot causes a stroke by diminishing the blood flow to the brain, depriving it of vital oxygen. Proteins, which travel through the placenta to reach the fetus, decrease bleeding risk. However, these proteins also increase the risk of blood clots in the fetus. Sometimes, these proteins may cause clots to form within the placenta and these clots can eventually reach the brain of the baby.
Babies have blood that is twice as thick as that of the average adult. The thicker blood also places babies at greater risk for strokes from blood clotting.
Another type of stroke is the hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This causes blood to flood the brain, killing nerve cells. During child birth, immense pressure is placed on the head of the baby. This pressure can cause arteries and veins to burst, leading to hemorrhagic stroke.
Was It Malpractice?
In some cases, there is nothing a doctor could have done to prevent your baby’s brain damage. If you feel that the doctor didn't take the correct steps during child birth to prevent your child from suffering from a stroke, your child may have been a victim of medical malpractice.
You should call 911 and your doctor if your baby is experiencing any complications. If you suspect that your child is a victim of medical malpractice, you should contact one of our experienced stroke attorneys for a free case evaluation. Ross Feller Casey handles all its cases, including those involving pediatric strokes, on a contingency basis so you will not pay any fees until a recovery is made in your case.