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The threat of neonatal strokes

Expectant parents in Texas should be aware that newborn infants and elderly people have the same likelihood of having a stroke. Parents-to-be should know about the frequency of neonatal strokes, the causes of the condition and what symptoms to be aware of.

The National Institutes of Health define a neonatal stroke as a condition that takes place when the blood supply of an infant is disturbed in some manner within 28 days of birth. When infants experience a stroke within the first week of their lives, they are said to have had a perinatal stroke.

During both the perinatal stroke and the neonatal stroke, the brain is deprived of oxygen and its blood vessels are blocked. According to estimates, a neonatal stroke occurs in one out of every 4,000 newborns.

Hypoxia, which is when the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply, is just one cause of a neonatal stroke. The mother's health can also be a factor. Chances of a neonatal stroke occurring may be higher if the mother has an infection, coagulation disorder, congenital heart disease, trauma, diabetes, autoimmune disorder or prenatal cocaine exposure. Neonatal strokes may also take place during pregnancy if there is a placental infection, placental abruption or chorioamnionitis.

In some cases, there are no apparent indications of a neonatal stroke. This means a stroke could be unnoticed for many months. Certain symptoms, such as imbalances, difficulties with speech and numbness in the body, may become apparent as the child gets older.

An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may assist parents whose infant sustained birth injuries. Legal counsel could evaluate the factors of a medical case and potentially file lawsuits against medical personnel, including the physician who oversaw the birthing process.

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