When most people think of strokes, they associate it with people over 35, but even infants have the risk of suffering a stroke. In fact, babies have the same risk of a stroke as the elderly have. A stroke in infants is called a neonatal stroke. It remains a mystery to parents, but understanding the causes can help prevent disaster. It would be best if you learned the signs of what you need to look out for.
How Does This Happen
You might be wondering what causes a neonatal stroke. In understanding the causes, you can do your best to avoid this dangerous condition. Lack of oxygen to the brain, or hypoxia, can cause this issue in infants. During hypoxia, the brain becomes oxygen-hungry and cannot perform its usual functions correctly. The mother’s health is a factor in neonatal stroke as well. In particular, the following maternal conditions increase the risk of neonatal stroke:
- Coagulation disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- Prenatal cocaine exposure
- Congenital heart disease
Placental infection, chorioamnionitis, and placental abruption are other factors that increase the risk of neonatal stroke. Disorders like lipid disorders, homocysteine, and blood are also risk factors. In many cases, the cause of this birth injury won’t always be obvious. Some children who were born shortly after delivery can suffer from this condition.
- Extreme sleepiness
- Feeding problems
- Neurological impairment
- Weakness from one side of the body
- Speech problems
How Do They Treat This Condition?
To treat this birth disorder, experimental forms of hypothermia have been employed. It may not make sense that you use hypothermia to treat this condition, but the cold air slows down the progression of damage to the brain cells. In essence, it keeps it from overreacting to the increase of blood flow. Through medical research, doctors have learned how patients treated in this way made a more rapid recovery.
Doctors might also choose to treat the child through hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy places a child in a chamber with 100 percent oxygen to slow down brain damage progression. In some cases, it has prevented permanent brain damage.
If you believe that your child has suffered this birth injury, they need help as soon as possible. This lowers the risk that they will suffer long-term effects. Each year, 1 million of these babies survive, but they suffer cerebral palsy due to it. A fast response won’t always guarantee no long-term effects, but it will go a long way in helping you to improve. The longer you wait, the higher the chances that it will be a disability with long-term effects.