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FAQs About Pediatric Stroke and Your Rights


A stroke is a medical condition many people associate with the elderly or individuals with disabilities, but it’s actually more common than you’d expect among infants. According to statistics reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine, pediatric stroke is in the top 10 causes of death for newborns and older children. Unfortunately, many of these fatalities could have been avoided, but were caused by medical mistakes by health care providers. A Florida birth injury attorney can provide more customized advice based upon your specific circumstances, but some answers to the most common questions may be useful.

Are there different types of pediatric stroke? In general, a stroke occurs because blood supply is cut off to part of the individual’s brain. In infants, there are two types of stroke that can occur during delivery:

  1. Hemorrhagic Stroke: The baby can experience a stroke if brain blood vessels are damaged because of trauma, such as improper use of a vacuum extractor or forceps in the birthing process; and
  2. Ischemic Stroke: A pediatric stroke may also be the result of a clot in the infant’s brain arteries. Again, assuming no birth defects are present, the event typically occurs because a health care provider didn’t use proper care when applying a vacuum extractor or forceps during delivery.

In addition, pediatric stroke can be the result of decision-making in the delivery room. If a physician waits too long to initiate a C-section, blood supply to the baby’s brain may cease and cause a stroke.

What are some signs and risk factors of pediatric stroke? This medical condition is especially troubling because it’s difficult to recognize the symptoms in newborns. In some cases, the evidence of a pediatric stroke is only available through imaging tests. However, some signs to note include:

  • Developmental delays;
  • Seizures;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Trouble feeding; and
  • A demonstrated preference of using one hand or side of the body.

How can a health care provider diagnose a stroke? Early detection of pediatric stroke is critical to embark on a proper course of treatment right away, which can prevent brain damage and the potential for developing cerebral palsy. A physician may employ one or more of the following tests to diagnose a stroke in an infant:

  • A blood test;
  • CT scan;
  • Ultrasound of the brain;
  • Lumbar puncture; or
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Do I have rights regarding pediatric stroke? You may have a claim against a health care provider if your baby’s pediatric stroke was a result of mistakes that took place in the delivery room. However, it’s important to understand that not all errors are actionable. To constitute medical malpractice, a birth injury must result from a provider’s deviation from the standard of care that applies to others in the medical field.

Florida Birth Injury Lawyer 

If you have concerns about whether medical errors were the reason for your baby’s pediatric stroke, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. We can set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers. We’re happy to review your circumstances and determine your legal options.


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